The Washington State Auto Dealers Association (wsada.org) printed “Green Driving Tips” in the Seattle Times (Sunday, June 17, 2012). WSADA says the following habits may increase your fuel economy by up to 33%!
- Keep rolling in traffic. It takes up to 20% more fuel to accelerate from a full dead stop than from 5 mph. Look down the road to anticipate stops and coast as much as possible.
- Drive your car to warm it up. Today’s vehicles do not need a warm up period before driving. Even on the coldest morning, running your engine for 30 seconds is all your need before your vehicle is ready to drive.
- Avoid unnecessary idling. When a vehicle is idling, you are getting zero miles per gallon plus you are increasing engine wear and air pollution.
- Avoid rapid starts and stops. Ease into accelerations and brake smoothly, especially around corners.
- Combine trips. Avoid making multiple short trips. Stop-and-go driving also burns more gas so avoid driving during rush hour whenever you can.
- Slow down. Fuel economy decreases about 1% for each mph over 55. Driving 65 mph vs. 75 mph, for example, increases fuel economy by about 10%.
- Maintain an optimum highway speed for good mileage. Highway driving that exceeds 60 mph uses more fuel. Every 5 miles over the 60 mph level is like paying 20 extra cents per gallon of gas.
- Use cruise control. During highway driving on flat terrains, cruise control helps maintain a steady speed and can provide a 7% average fuel savings.
- Reduce drag. Remove roof racks, rocket boxes, tow–hook carriers and other items that cause wind resistance when not in use.
- Use air conditioning at higher speeds. Air conditioning reduces mileage significantly, but driving with the windows open can produce aerodynamic drag and reduce fuel economy. When driving at speeds less than 40 mph, open windows are better. At higher speeds, close the windows and turn on the air conditioner.
In summary, drive slowly, smoothly and continuously or turn it off. Click the Green Driving link below for more information about how you can keep your car running its cleanest and greenest.
Saab in Motion photo by flickr user psmithy.