According to the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), regular tune up will not just keep your vehicle running smoothly, it can also improve fuel economy by around 4%. In addition, replacing a severely clogged air filter will boost fuel consumption by 14% and provide better acceleration performance. Meanwhile, friction may cause your car’s engine to work harder. To avoid this from happening, regular oil change with the manufacturer’s recommended grade of oil improves fuel economy by 1 to 2%.
Check the Cap
After refuelling, always double check if the cap of the gas tank is fitted properly. A loose cap may trigger the “check engine light” and cause fuel to evaporate, reducing fuel economy by 1 to 2%.
Tires that aren’t inflated to the recommended manufacturer setting can increase fuel consumption by 0.3% for every one pound-per-square-inch drop in pressure. Check your car’s manual to find out the proper pressure and use a good gauge to see the Pound per Square Inch (PSI) rating of the tire. A well-inflated tire can help save fuel by up to 3.3% and increase its lifespan.
Speaking of tires, did you know that oversized rims and ultra-low profile tires can hurt your vehicle’s fuel consumption? Larger tires increase rolling resistance, unsprung weight, as well as affect the car’s aerodynamics, causing its engine to work harder and use more fuel.
Plan Your Trips
Carefully plan and time your trips to avoid traffic congestion. You can use navigation apps such as Waze to see the traffic situation on the route you plan to take. Also unload cargo that isn’t essential or needed during your trips as your vehicle uses 2% more fuel for every extra 45 kg, according to the EPA.
Moreover, your car’s roof rack contributes to the fuel being burned by up to 5% as about a quarter of a liter is needed to overcome wind resistance. If possible, remove your vehicle’s roof rack when not in use.
Avoid hard braking/accelerating and driving at excessive speeds as these can lower fuel economy by 33% on the highway and 5% in the city. You can also save 10 to 15% by driving 90 km/h than 104 km/h on the highway. In addition, Natural Resources Canada says that the most efficient speed range for most vehicles is from 50 to 80 km/h.
When driving a vehicle with automatic transmission in slow-moving traffic, you can let your vehicle coast by slowly lifting your foot off the brake. As for manual transmission cars, try downshifting to a stop (also known as engine braking) and/or taking your foot off the gas pedal while in gear. Modern engines will use just enough fuel to keep it from stalling as long as you’re in the right gear and speed range.
Avoid Excessive Idling
If it’s not too hot outside and you’re waiting for someone in the parking lot, you might want to turn off your car’s engine. 15 minutes of idling can consume nearly a liter of fuel without adding mileage.
Use Air Conditioning Prudently
When it’s cold and dry outside, consider using a faster fan speed to circulate air instead of lowering the temperature setting as air conditioning increases fuel consumption by 10%. If possible, avoid using the aircon and roll down your windows at speeds below 64 km/h. But if driving at speeds above 72 km/h, on the other hand, the engine will use more fuel due to wind drag.
Use Higher Gears
When driving a car with manual transmission, try using the highest gear where possible to keep engine revolutions low and reduce fuel consumption. Just remember not to overdo this and “lug” or stall the engine.
For those using a vehicle with automatic transmission, ease your foot of the gas pedal to allow the transmission to shift to a higher gear. All Chevrolet models with an automatic transmission are equipped with six-speed transmissions with longer ratios on higher gears to reduce engine revs at cruising speeds, saving fuel.