Drive better, save money and help the environment





(Source eartheasy.com)

With auto makers such as General Motors hesitant to adopt fuel efficient designs and paying dearly for it,  it’s time to start stepping up to do something about the problem.  Though gas prices have dropped down to a pretty reasonable level, the memory of prices greater than $4.00 a gallon is still all too sharp.  Here are a few things each of us can do to save money at the pump.  They really add up with just a little bit of effort.

Driving Habits:

  1. Avoid hard breaking
  2. Avoid quick acceleration 
    • Note: 1 and 2 increases travel time by 4% but can decrease consumption by 40% and reduce emissions to 1/5th.
  3. Keep moving without coming to a complete stop
  4. Drive between 5o and 60 mph when possible for most efficient performance
  5. Anticipate stopping and just glide to a stop with less braking – breaking throws away energy
  6. User higher gears if you have a choice
  7. If stopped for more than 30 seconds, turn off the engine rather than idling
  8. Use cruise control for long flat areas, it smooths out acceleration
  9. Do not use cruise control in hilly areas
  10. At speeds <40mph, crack windows instead of AC, (>10%)
  11. At speeds >40mph, close windows
  12. Draft behind larger vehicles – semis can’t slow down quickly so less following distance isn’t as dangerous

Car Maintenance:

  1. Inflate tires properly
  2. Change air filters regularly (clogged filters use 10% more fuel)
  3. Change oil regularly (clean oil is more efficient)
  4. Tighten gas cap (gas evaporates and escapes)

Trip Planning:

  1. Remove unnecessary items from the car
  2. Park in the shade to reduce need for AC and fuel evaporation
  3. Use a block heater in the winter since fuel is more efficient when warmed up
  4. Combine trips and errands
  5. Telecommute when possible
  6. Carpool or use mass transit
  7. When choosing a route, avoid traffic, hills and construction
  8. If you have a choice about when to go out, save driving for non-windy days

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