How do I Increase My Fuel Efficiency?
Whether you’re looking to pay less in fuel costs, or want to minimize your ecological footprint and save the environment, finding ways to use less fuel benefits everyone.
So, how do you improve fuel efficiency? Read on for some tips you can use to improve your economy by as much as 30%.
Have questions, or want to learn more? Contact a service representative from Kelowna Nissan and we’d be happy to help you!
10 Tips to Get Better Gas Mileage
- Don’t drive so fast! Speed demons get instant karma in the form of higher fuel costs. Driving just 10 km/hr over the speed limit, especially on the highway, will dramatically increase fuel consumption due to increased drag on your vehicle. Try to stay at, or below, the speed limit (and remember to drive at an appropriate speed for the conditions).
- Start trip planning. The more things you can accomplish in one trip, the better. Not only will it help you save on fuel, but it will also help you save on another valuable commodity: time. Driving less means using less fuel.
- Accelerate and brake gradually. Pinning the throttle between stoplights probably won’t get you to your destination any faster, but it will cause you to use more fuel. It also wears out other parts of your vehicle like your brake pads, rotors and even your engine. Accelerating and braking gradually is also safer, especially when roads are slippery.
- Don’t idle your car for more than 30 seconds. Modern vehicles shouldn’t need to idle for more than 30 seconds before they’re warm enough to drive. The engine will also warm up faster if you are driving at normal speeds. The same goes for any situation where you will be idling for a long period of time: turn your car off at the drive-through window if it’s reasonable, or in other circumstances where you will be waiting for more than a couple of minutes.
- Drive with your windows up, and minimize A/C use. Driving with the windows down on the highway can reduce your fuel economy by as much as 10% due to increased air resistance on your vehicle. Using air conditioning will also increase the load on your engine. Consider saving the A/C for when temperatures are too hot to bear.
- Use cruise control. When appropriate, and when driving conditions are favourable, cruise control is a great way to maximize your fuel economy. It can save you up to 6% in fuel.
- Drive in a higher gear. If your vehicle has a manual transmission, drive in the highest gear possible without lugging the engine. The higher your gear, the less fuel that your vehicle will use.
- Lighten your load. Plan for your trips, and only bring along what you really need. An extra 100 pounds in your trunk can reduce fuel economy by 1 to 2 percent.
- Use the right fuel octane. Not sure what octane to use? Check out our FAQ on what whether your vehicle needs premium fuel. Using the proper fuel will improve your economy and protect your engine.
- Choose good roads. Dirt and gravel roads can rob your fuel economy by up to 30 percent. If you can choose a pavement route, then do
Maintenance Tips for Better Fuel Economy
Staying on top of your vehicle’s maintenance is just as important when it comes to keeping up good gas mileage:
- Check your tire pressure at least once a month. Under-inflated tires can rob your vehicle of gas mileage. Make sure your tires are set to the proper inflation for your vehicle.
- Check and change your air filter. Follow your vehicle’s maintenance schedule and change your air filter regularly. Check it periodically, as if you drive in dusty conditions you may need to change it more often.
- Check and replace your oxygen sensor and other emissions controls. Your oxygen sensor measures the amount of oxygen (O2) in your vehicle’s exhaust, and is used by your vehicle’s computer to calculate the proper air-fuel ratio and regulate your fuel injection system. A faulty or failing O2 sensor can significantly decrease fuel economy.
- Do regular oil changes and use the right oil for your vehicle. When you change your oil, only use your manufacturer’s specified viscosity and type of motor oil, and make sure your oil is up to API service standards. Old oil doesn’t lubricate as well, so make sure you stay on top of your maintenance with a regular oil change.
- Ensure your suspension is properly aligned. Check your alignment and inspect your suspension and chassis for damaged or broken parts. If your vehicle isn’t properly aligned, the additional drag on your vehicle will impact your fuel economy.
- Choose less agressive tread patterns. Truck or SUV owners can consider switching to less aggressive tread patterns if they don’t plan to go off the road on a regular basis.
Is it time for your vehicle’s next maintenance interval? Book your next service appointment online at Kelowna Nissan and ensure your vehicle is running as efficiently as possible