Gas Saving Driving Tips For Everyone - Slow down
Each 5 miles per hour your drive over 60 mph is like paying an extra 24 cents per gallon for gas, when gasoline is selling at $3.96 per gallon, according to the government's fueleconomy.gov.
"Think about sticking your hand out the window at 30 mph and sticking your hand out the window at 70 mph," said Ted Bohn, a research scientist at the Argonne National Laboratory in Lamont, Ill., and an adjunct engineering instructor at the University of Wisconsin in Madison. "There's a lot more force on your hand. That's the same force that your wheels have to push the car forward, and it goes up exponentially" at higher speeds.
Slowing down a bit also can keep an engine running at its most efficient level. Pushing it harder costs more. "The engine is working harder to maintain that faster speed so it's going to use more fuel to do that," said Mark Griffin, service adviser at Hands-On Garage in Milwaukee. "If you decrease your speed, you will save gas. That's pretty much just a given."
Check your tires
"An underinflated tire is going to have more rolling resistance," Griffin said. "If you have four tires that are severely underinflated and you air them up, you could save yourself quite a bit of fuel."
Varrelmann said he and the students in automotive classes push a lot of cars around. He can always tell when a car's tires are underinflated because pushing it becomes more difficult.
"If it's hard for me to push, it's going to be hard for the engine to push as well," he said.
Change the oil regularly
With today's computer-controlled engines, using the proper oil is important. "Each engine is designed to run on a designated oil," Griffin said. "Using the oil that is recommended is going to increase the efficiency of the engine, and in turn is going to increase your fuel efficiency. You might not see drastic numbers, but in watching fuel efficiency, every little bit is going to help."
Bohn likens the situation to an exam in school.
"Is there anything I can do to get better than 100% on an exam? No. But every point that I miss, my score goes down," he said. "It's pretty certain that if you don't inflate your tires, you won't get expected fuel economy. If you drive aggressively and brake harshly and idle a lot and warm up your car for 5 minutes before you drive, you won't get the baseline fuel economy - the expected fuel economy. You'll get less than 100% on this quote-unquote 'exam.' "
Gas Saving Driving Tips For Everyone