Owning a hybrid or electric car is beneficial for the environment. However, there are still plenty of ways that conventional car owners can improve fuel economy, reduce carbon emissions and get “greener” in their driving.
Slow Your Roll.
Most cars are optimally fuel-efficient at lower speeds, and fuel economy decreases rapidly at speeds above 50 mph. According to fueleconomy.gov, assuming a $2.20 cost per gallon for fuel, every 5 mph you drive more than 50 is like paying an additional 15 cents per gallon for gas. Keeping speed under control makes you safer on the road and is better for your wallet and the environment.
Lighten Your Load.
Be aware that carrying cargo in or on your car has a negative impact on fuel economy and your carbon footprint. According to fueleconomy.gov, ditching 100 pounds of cargo could improve your gas mileage by about 1%. Be aware that stacking cargo on top of the vehicle can reduce fuel economy up to 25% – a rear-mounted cargo box is more fuel-efficient.
When sitting in a parked car, reduce emissions and save fuel by turning off your engine instead of idling. One rule of thumb – if you can shut off the engine for at least a minute before needing to restart it, you will save fuel.
Switch to Synthetic Oil.
Even if your car does not require it, switching to synthetic oil can improve fuel economy. The lower viscosity of synthetic oils means they circulate more easily within the engine, particularly upon startup, which reduces friction and wastes less energy. Some companies claim their synthetic oils can increase gas mileage by up to 5%.
Give Your Car Some T.L.C.
Performing regular maintenance on your vehicle keeps it safer, more fuel-efficient and reduces harmful emissions. In addition, simple maintenance you can do yourself, such as keeping your tires properly inflated and replacing clogged air filters, have been shown to improve fuel economy measurably.