It’s called hypermilling. Tactics to help save gas thus money. Some of the tactics are illegal and controversial so we’re not mentioning those but here are some smart ones you need to execute.
Before those tips, we have to mention the obvious. Walk or ride your bike as much as possible whenever you can. Carpool whenever you can. And, find ways to not drive. Many people are asking to work at home or using flex hours to avoid peak driving times and many employers are just fine with it. Heck, if it gets another car off the road then they’re happy too.
But, if and when you drive here are some great fuel saving tips.
1. Get the junk out of the trunk. Any unnecessary and heavy items in your trunk or back seats weighs down the car and wastes gas.
2. Find the quickest way to your most used routes. For most people, it’s to and from work and the grocery store. This may sound obvious but in the world of traffic, it isn’t because the old adage of the “shortest path from A to B is a straight line” isn’t fuel efficient in many ways. Sitting, idling and shuffling the car on a highway is the biggest waste of energy so take some time to look at alternate ways. If it gets you there quicker in real time during peak traffic then switch to that route.
3. Memorize your route through traffic lights and stop signs. Braking your car and accelerating take a toll on your car and gas bill so if you memorize your route, you’ll know where the stop signs are and you’ll begin to know the timing of the stop lights to anticipate stops thus easing your way to those stops.
4. Here’s my favorite. Coast the most. Have you ever notice how many people speed up to stop? They know it’s a red light yet they speed right up to it as if their car will magically turn the light green and even if it did, you’d still have to stop to watch for thru traffic or a car in front of you. It’s a ‘driving mad’ or ‘I’m important cause I’m in a rush’ syndrome. When you see or know it’s a red light or will be a red light, take your foot off the pedal and coast to the stoplight. Your not using any gas nor brakes thus saving in two ways and that’s why it is important to memorize your most used routes, you’ll know when to anticipate the stops. You can also monitor the pedestrian signals that tell you if the light is about to turn yellow or not. Coasting can be the most fuel efficient tactic you can use.
5. Don’t idle. If you’re waiting on your child or date and know they’ll take some time. Turn the car off.
6. Don’t use the air conditioner if you can. If you live in the south and it’s Summer, the air conditioner is mandatory otherwise try not to when you can.
7. Park in a spot that’s easy to get in and out. Trying to get that closest spot causes a lot of idling driving in and out. Park a little further out and you avoid that problem and maybe walk a few calories off.
8. Avoid drive-thrus. Most of the time, it takes longer to get your order. Just park, walk in, order to-go then head on out.
9. Check your tire pressure. Tires need to be properly aired otherwise you will drag your car and your wallet.
There are many other minor tips that can help in tiny ways or, like stated above, can be dangerous so stick with the above recommendations and watch how you’ll save an extra day’s gas and money.