6 tips for fuel-efficient driving with your regular old nonhybrid car
While it would be nice to own an electric or hybrid car, we at HellaWella understand that you might be stuck with the same old clunker you had in high school, and buying a new, more efficient vehicle just isn’t an option.
So, if you have an older vehicle, it comes down to fuel economy. Using less fuel is not only good for your wallet; it’s good for the environment as well.
The Department of Energy is a great place to start for advice on getting the most out of your car. The department’s special FuelEconomy.gov website offers the following tips for improving your vehicle’s performance.
- Be a smart (and safe driver) — Speeding, rapid acceleration and braking can lower your gas mileage by 33% at highway speeds and by 5% on residential streets.
- Don’t be a speed racer — Speaking as someone with a confessed “lead foot,” I know this is easier said than done, but for every 5 mph you drive over 60 mph, you are paying an additional 31 cents per gallon for gas. That’s because most vehicles lose their gas mileage at speeds above 60 mph.
- Keep your vehicle light — We don’t want to know what you got in your trunk, but if you are looking to get more out of your car, it’s time to get rid of it. If you got an extra 100 pounds in your vehicle, your MPG is reduced by up to 2%, costing you an extra 4 cents to 8 cents per gallon.
- Don’t stand idly by — Idling can waste a quarter to a half gallon of fuel per hour, so it’s important to turn your engine off when your vehicle is parked. Learn more about car idling here.
- Keep your engine running smoothly — That “check engine” light isn’t for decoration. It is important to have your engine properly tuned at all times. Depending on the severity of the problem, fixing your engine could improve your mileage by as much as 40%.
- Don’t tire on your tires — By simply keeping your tires inflated to the proper pressure, you can improve your gas mileage by up to 3.3%.
Share your tips for making your car run efficiently below.