5 Ways to Make Your Vehicle the Most Fuel Efficient Car Possible
Ever heard the phrase, “Make the most with what you have?” It’s probably something someone has told you, perhaps if you felt you were lacking natural talent in something, or if you concluded that you’d never have a “dream physique”. You probably replied sarcastically. However, when it comes to owning the most fuel efficient car possible – which for many of you would be your dream vehicle – making the most of what you have is important. This is certainly true if your vehicle isn’t that economical (gas-wise) to begin with. After all, you can’t turn a gas guzzler into a hybrid any more than you can turn a Poodle into a Doberman. So you have to work smart.
Making Fewer “Pit Stops”
Fortunately, it doesn’t take the genius of Albert Einstein to figure out how to make your car more fuel efficient. It really is just making lifestyle changes. With that said, there are so many tricks, tips and hacks out there, you may not know what to focus on, or even where to start.
What You Need to Address
- Expense – One of the first things to look at is the amount of money you’re spending on gas. It will be pretty apparent if you’re spending too much.
- Consumption – Of course, you should keep tabs on the amount of gas you’re paying for. If you’re making frequent stops at the pump, assuming you don’t drive all the time, then you’re most likely driving a gas guzzler.
- Habits – What you must consider next are your driving habits. Most of us have at least one or two habits that could easily lead to increased gas consumption.
1. Don’t speed
The first habit you can tackle is how you use that gas pedal. If you love to floor the gas, thinking you’re on the set of a Fast and the Furious movie, then it’s time to take a break (excuse the pun). You’ll waste a lot of gas if you’re always speeding, regardless of how efficient your vehicle is or not. Not only will you burn more fuel, your speed demon tendencies will probably land you a ticket sooner or later. In some instances, slowing down as much as 10 – 15 km/h can reduce your fuel consumption by as much as 20%. The best thing you can do is slow down, and make use of cruise control for those long drives. And if you’re speeding because you’re always running late, make it your goal to leave earlier!
2. Carry less weight
This is by no means an appeal for you to lose weight – unless we’re talking about the weight you’re throwing in your car. If you’re lugging around bags, bicycles and or carrying something like a boat (truck drivers), then you’ll no doubt burn more gas. The obvious solution to this problem is to reduce the amount of weight you carry. For every 100 pounds you add onto your car, you lose between 1 – 2% of your fuel economy. Depending on your profession or hobbies, it’s not always possible to travel light. But you can take some practical steps such as putting bulky items inside your car, rather than on roof racks (since weight on top of the car increases drag, which burns more fuel).
3. Maintain your car better
Hopefully, you’re not haphazardously maintaining your car. A car that’s poorly serviced is a car that has low fuel economy – a reality that many drivers fail to consider. And a lack of good maintenance can take many forms. Think of your tires for a second. Your car is grounded to the road by means of your tires, and they move your vehicle around. So if they are under-inflated or worn out, your vehicle won’t move with the same fluidity of motion. In other words, it will take more effort, which means, you’ll burn more gas even though the distance you’re travelling is not that far. It’s also essential for you to have your car taken in for it’s oil change, as well as other general servicing. Making that effort will take the strain off your car, and prevent it from suddenly breaking down. That brings us to our next point.
4. Consider key car replacements
It’s safe to say that every few months, you might have to make a minor change or two on your car. They’re usually minor or not too costly, but nonetheless, important. When it comes to fuel efficiency, some of these parts need replacements, so that you’re making your car as fuel efficient as possible. For example, your vehicle’s mass air flow sensor measures the amount of airflow entering the engine. If it gets dirty, it sends inaccurate information, which in turn, reduces fuel economy. Also, there is your oxygen sensor which monitors exhaust flow. If that component is faulty, it too sends inaccurate info to the car’s engine, which affects fuel economy. It’s important to have your mechanic check these parts to make sure they’re in good shape. Additionally, there are things like dirty air filters and dated spark plugs that also affect fuel efficiency – they too need replacing from time to time.
5. Drive less
One of the simplest tricks to make other than to own the most fuel efficient car possible, is to drive less often. But it’s also one of the hardest to practice. The reason it’s not easy to just drive less frequently stems from many factors, including your circumstances, lifestyle (hobbies, activities etc.) and or problems with city infrastructure (road closures, construction etc.). For example, you may have to drive an hour or so to take your kid to a sports game or art class, which means burning more gas. But let’s say you’re the kind of person to drive to venues that are accessible by public transit, or you’re the chauffeur among your circle of friends. Paying at the pump will be painful. In those instances, it would make sense to find alternatives, such as taking the bus or train, and sharing the driving burdens equally among your circle.
Hands off the Pump
If you feel brokenhearted and downtrodden by you car’s lack of fuel efficiency, don’t fret or sulk. It’s not a lost cause. You need to start making changes to your driving habits. That may include tweaks in your daily activities, weekly expenses or monthly maintenance. To begin, take a look at your budget versus the amount of gas your car is burning. If there’s a minor gap, then the changes you need to make probably won’t be too dramatic. But if there’s a massive discrepancy, then you’ll likely need to have parts replaced, or at least examined by a mechanic. It will take some trial and error to figure things out. However, turning your vehicle into the most fuel efficient car possible will be worthwhile.