16 Ways to avoid wasting fuel – financesonline.com gas in stomach


America has a fascination for automobiles perhaps matched only by the desire for real estate. If only petrol was as cheap and abundant as water. But it’s not. The price of gasoline is as volatile as the substance itself. Fuel expenses can quickly burn a hole in your pocket, money that could be better used for more unavoidable expenses. Here’s a checklist of things you can do to avoid wasting fuel. Efficient driving saves money

• Be sensible. Speeding, rapid acceleration and braking wastes gas. It can lower your mileage by as much as 33% on the freeway, and 5% in city traffic. Sensible driving will also minimize the chances of accidents. Even when you’re insured, the man-days lost to downtime can cost you big time.

• Use the right gear. Don’t rev up the car and don’t crawl along on high gear either. Follow the recommended gear pattern of 10-15 kms for first gear, 15-25 for second, 25-35 for third, 35-45 for fourth and 50 plus for the 5th gear. As you speed up, you should reach the highest gear to optimize the fuel consumption.

• Stay within speed limits. Other than preventing you from doing harm to yourself and others, staying within speed limits actually helps you conserve fuel. Each vehicle reaches optimal fuel economy at a different speed (or range of speeds), but gas mileage usually decreases rapidly at speeds above 50 mph. Keep in mind that each 5 mph you drive over 50 mph is like paying an additional $0.26 per gallon for gas.

• Keep the weight down. Offload all unnecessary stuff. An extra 100 pounds in your vehicle could reduce your mileage by up to 2 percent. This reduction is based on the percentage of extra weight relative to the vehicle’s weight and affects smaller vehicles more than larger ones.

• Keep the engine tuned. Fixing a car that is noticeably out of tune or has failed an emissions test can improve its gas mileage by an average of 4%. Fixing a serious maintenance problem, such as a faulty oxygen sensor, can improve mileage by as much as 40%.

• Replaced clogged filters. Replacing a clogged air filter on an older car with a carburated engine may improve fuel economy 2 to 6 % under normal replacement conditions or up to 14% if the filter is so clogged that it significantly affects driveability.

• Park in the shade. Gas in your tank will actually evaporate if your car is sitting in the sun for too long. If you can’t find a shady parking spot, then try parking your car so it faces the opposite direction of the sun. Buy a windshield shade as well, and be sure to keep the sun roof closed at all times.

• Park ASAP. Take the first available parking slot. Don’t go round and round in circles trying to look for one that’s more to your liking. Chances are you’re looking for parking space that will minimize the distance you’ll have to walk. Unless you’re parking outdoors and it’s raining, there’s absolutely no excuse for avoiding those extra strides.

• Fill it up all the way and don’t wait to run on empty. A full tank has less ability to vaporize fuel and there is less moisture-laden air (that condenses into water) that can fit. Not only that, there’s a greater chance of damaging the electric fuel pump if by you run the car on less than a quarter of a tank.

This, of course, is the best of all. Leave your car at home if you can. Plan its use wisely so you can do in one trip what would usually take you three. Do it regularly and you might be surprised at how much less trips to the gas station you’ll need to make.

• Do it all in one trip. It’s all a matter of scheduling. Do all your errands and shopping when you’re either driving to work, or coming home from work. Resist the urge to drive to the grocery for a single item that’s missing from your recipe. Be creative.

• Public transportation is cool. Unless you have an unhealthy attachment to your car, or you’re a teenager looking to impress, taking the bus or train to and from work is fun. It helps you reconnect with the vibe on the streets and the public pulse. Look for daily, weekly, or even monthly passes to cut down on transportation costs.