Sep
28

Five Fuel-Saving Driving Tips


driving

With oil prices reaching over a hundred dollars a barrel, saving gas is now extremely important. Petroleum is a non-renewable resource, and many oil fields are now getting depleted because of massive demand by consumers and industries that use fossil fuel products. There are just too many cars on the road for oil fields to sustain. Pollution and global warming caused by vehicle emissions and exhaust are now also serious issues that many people are concerned with.

Many car manufacturers now make cars that run on alternative energy sources, although gasoline and diesel are still the most convenient ways to power a car. You don’t have to throw away your car in favor of a bicycle or a brand-new electric car. Even your gas-guzzling vehicle can be a green machine if you follow these simple uel-saving driving tips.

1. Load Up With a Full Tank

Some people may wince at the idea of paying top dollar for a full tank of gas, but you actually save a lot more gasoline if you spare the extra money to load a full tank. A full tank means that you take less trips to a gas station. Many late-model cars also operate more efficiently with a full tank of gas. While you may end up saving pennies for every gas station trip, the value all adds up per gallon.

gas refill

To make your savings worth every dollar, here are some tips to remember:

  • Drain your fuel tank before you load up. Make good use of every bit of gas remaining in your tank before you top it up with a refill. When you’re just about to run on empty, pull over to the nearest gas station to load up. You’ll be amazed at how much money you’ll save at the end of the month or the year.
  • Fill up some jerry cans. While you’re at the gas station loading up a full tank, you may also want to fill some jerry cans or authorized gas-storage containers with extra fuel. You’ll never know when you’ll run on empty. Make sure that your container is one specially designed to carry, store, and transport fuel.
  • Have a customizer fit your tank with foam. Some automobile modders and customizers can fit your tank with a kind of foam used in race cars to protect fuel tanks and conserve fuel. The foam allows the liquid fuel to pass through the gas lines, and conserves gasoline lost due to condensation and evaporation. Check your local garage or your favorite auto customizer for details on how the foam can be fit inside your fuel tank.
  • Check your mileage. Pay attention to your fuel gauges, and check to see if you have good mileage per gallon of fuel. Mileage differ between car makes and models, although a good rule of thumb is that you should get more miles per gallon if your car has a smaller engine. Consult with your car owner’s manual or the car dealer about your car’s recommended mileage.

2. Turn Off the Engine and Coast

You can save a lot of money and fuel if you coast on straights and freeways. The key to coasting is to build up as much speed as you can before cruising on the straight parts of the road. When you turn off the engine, you then use the momentum of the car to cruise along the highway. Coasting is especially useful if you’re driving on country highways and straight roads, where you don’t need to floor the accelerator and feed fuel into your engine.

coasting

Some people think that coasting is less fuel-efficient because it takes up fuel to start up the engine. While it does require a small amount of fuel to start the engine, you actually save more fuel if you coast. Another advantage to coasting is that you preserve the strength and the integrity of your car’s moving parts. Coasting reduces mechanical stress because you use the momentum you gain from building up speed to keep the car moving forward.

3. Keep Your Engine Clean

Old and dirty engines use up more fuel than clean engines. A lot of fuel is lost and wasted because of the debris that clogs up the engine. Excess heat can also contribute to fuel inefficiency, because the substances in gasoline can decompose because of high temperatures.

cleaning the engine

If your engine is caked with a lot of dirt and debris, you need to pour on some engine degreaser to loosen up and remove the dirt and debris baked into the engine block. It’s also a good idea to wash your engine with warm soapy water every couple of weeks to dislodge the excess dust and grime that builds up on your engine block. To keep the inside working parts of your engine clean, use engine oil and fuel that have tested engine cleaning properties.

4. Feather the Gas Pedal

You would waste a lot of fuel if you keep a heavy foot on the accelerator. Unless you drive an old car and you have to floor the gas pedal to get a response, it’s best to keep a light foot on the accelerator. Here are some ways that you can save gasoline:

gas pedal

  • Use the ball of the foot, not your heel. Some people press on the accelerator using the heavy part of the foot, like the heel. To properly feather the gas pedal, you need to use the lighter part of your foot, like the ball or the sole.
  • Feed, don’t floor. There are times that you need to floor the gas pedal, especially if you’re moving out of a sharp curve. The trick is to keep very light pressure on the gas pedal, just enough to feed a steady amount of fuel to the engine. Only push the pedal to the metal when you need it.
  • Keep the fuel flow constant. When you feather the accelerator pedal, keep the throw steady to feed just the right amount of fuel to the engine. If you have problems balancing the weight of your foot to the pedal, it helps to keep a halved tennis ball right under the accelerator pedal lever. The ball will prevent you from throwing the accelerator too far or too hard, and waste precious gasoline.

5. Try Alternative Fuels

If you run a diesel-powered SUV or truck
, you may want to look into biodiesel. Biodiesel is a natural diesel substitute made from vegetable oil, animal fats, and even ordinary used cooking oil. It only takes a minor and inexpensive conversion to allow your engine to use biodiesel, and some older diesel-powered engines can use biodiesel without a converter. Biodiesel is also cheaper by the gallon compared to conventional diesel fuel.

biodiesel

Some fuel additives are available on the market that enhances and enriches gasoline, and makes it more efficient for use in gas-powered engines. Make sure that the additive is recommended by your car manufacturer, and it does not come with exaggerated claims of fuel efficiency. In the long run, a 5% actual improvement in fuel efficiency from a good-quality additive is better than a 50% claim by an additive that will only corrode your fuel lines.

Oil and fuel prices show no signs of returning to normal anytime soon. Every bit that you can do to save on fuel costs count. You may think little of the pennies and nickels you save by practicing fuel-efficient driving, but you may save just enough to skip a few trips to the gas pump every month. The little things that you do to save fuel all adds up not only for your wallet, but for future generations and the planet Earth as well.

Saving fuel is something you need to do for your vehicle and the environment, but sometimes, the one that needs saving is your battery. One way to do this is by jump starting the vehicle. Here’s how to jump start a car properly.

4 Comments so far

  1. [...] us a glimpse of true freedom on the road. But in these trying times, it’s best to listen to Fuel-Saving Tips to find ways to Deal With High Gas Prices. [...]

  2. [...] (For speed freaks you surely want to know the Top Ten Fastest Cars In The World but for those who loves luxury cars knowing the Priciest Supercars in the world is a plus and these trying times you’ll surely embrace these Five Fuel Saving Driving Tips.) [...]

  3. car-man on September 3rd, 2009

    I agree with everything but 1. waiting to refuel at empty. Don’t do this! When you get below a half tank you start picking up dirt and crud in the bottom of your tank. That clogs fuel filters, average cost around 15 bucks. Which puts strain on your fuel pump, which in turn could cause it to go down, looking at a couple of hundred bucks plus labor if you cant drop the tank yourself. And not to mention the potential to clog injectors and cause your car to miss. With that said, it seems so much cheaper, and easier just to keep it above a half tank. Not to mention the loss of time it would save you not being stuck on the side of the road when any of these happen or you run out of gas!

  4. Oliver on November 3rd, 2009

    Good article, it sure is important to pay attention to the amount of fuel you’re using.

    Tip Number 2 sounds plausible to me, but I heard, that it’s dangerous to turn off your engine while driving, because the brakes wont work as good as when the engine is running, because there is some mechanism that puts more force on your brakes.

    Another Tip, which is not mentioned, is to look far ahead while driving, and dont accalerate towards a red traffic light for example.
    Accelerating uses the most fuel, I think. So try and avoid breaking, because you have to accelerate afterwards…

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