How far away do you live from your job? Maybe 10 minutes? 30? An hour? If you fall into one of these categories — or if you merely drive a lot — these tips will liberate you from spending precious minutes and dollars at the gas pump.
I’ve collected my own data to compile this list, but I assure that you will come up with the same money saving results if you follow these tips. Make note that the more aware you are as a driver, the better results you will reap from this information
I’ve put these things into practice for years with my own driving and saved hundreds of dollars on gas money.
Have a steady foot
You may not have heard of a steady foot, but how about a lead foot?
A lead foot is not ideal for gas mileage because the throttle is linear. What does that mean? Simply put, the harder you press the gas pedal, the more fuel is sent to the engine and burned up.
You’re never going to see that fuel again.
Being too aggressive with the throttle will only serve to use up your gas as quickly as possible. Instead, be light with the pedal. Never put it all the way to the floor — and if you really want to save gas — don’t even go past halfway.
You might be thinking, “I wish there were some gauge or instrument that helped me out with this”.
Well good news, there is! It’s called the tachometer and it’s the second large gauge next to the speed. Here it is pictured below. Left side with the numbers 1 through 8.
Also called the RPM’s(revolutions per minute x 1000), this gauge basically measures how hard the engine is working. The higher the number displayed on the tachometer, the more fuel is being used to move the car forward.
So it’s easy to see how lower RPM’s makes for less fuel consumption. To keep the RPM’s low, work on having an easier application of the throttle — or as I put it before — have a steady foot.
My rule is to always keep the RPM’s below 2000 (or 2). Although I speed up quite slower than everybody around me, I am saving a ton of gas in the long run by doing this every time I start.
Prepare for the hills
For the majority of us, our daily driving doesn’t consist completely of flat road. To be more realistic, we have to throw in some hills, dips, and slopes.
So how do we prepare for this kind of terrain?
Think back to when you were a kid riding your bike down a hill. You could fly down that thing with no effort whatsoever, all the while gaining speed.
Well, it’s the same way in a car. All of th
e energy used to turn the engine is converted to kinetic energy from the wheels while no fuel is being used.
So when you see a hill coming, slowly begin to accelerate enough to compensate for the hill. Don’t exceed 2000 RPM’s, and upon reaching the hill adjust back to nor
mal cruising RPM’s (try to keep these as low as possible — I aim for 1250). Your goal is to have the speed decrease back to whatever your cruising speed was before the hill.
Note: I would not use cruise control unless you are on flat roads. The car’s computer does not anticipate terrain, and therefore cannot adequately prepare for it.
Of course, this will all differ with the size of every hill but if you drive the same route every day you’ll become accustomed to each part of the journey. After you reach the top, you can use the downhill slope to gain speed without using any gas.
Basically, you want to ride it like a rollercoaster while using the gas pedal as little as possible.
Don’t use the brakes so much
On today’s roads, everyone is constantly driving bumper to bumper.
Not only is this dangerous but it wastes a ton of gas as well.
Be the smart driver on the road. Allow for plenty of room between yourself and the guy in front of you. Why?
How many times have you been approaching a stop light and start braking 15 ft before you reach the light? You come to a screeching stop at the line and let out a huge breath of air once you realize you made it. But then 3 seconds later the light turns green and you start going again. There’s a big problem with this.
Your car uses a whole lot more energy to get going from a standstill. So by stopping and starting constantly, you’re essentially throwing away gas.
Instead — as you approach a red light — start coasting so that inertia will begin to slow you down. It will take much longer for you to get to the light, and it’s liable to turn green while you coast towards it. This way you don’t waste the unnecessary gas by starting your car from a stop. Do this continually and it will save you a significant amount of gas money.
There are a ton of ways to save money on gas, but these are the most effective in my experience. Put these into use and start using that gas budget on more fun things!