Everyone can stand to keep a few more dollars in their wallets. And with spring and summer road trips just around the corner, now is the perfect time to learn to make the most of your fuel.
It all starts with the fuel consumption ratings available on the windows of new vehicles and on the web. They reflect the results of standardized tests done in laboratories on dynamometers that simulate different driving conditions. While these ratings are achievable if you drive with fuel efficiency in mind, how, when, and where you drive can have a dramatic effect on your vehicle’s fuel consumption.
Follow these fuel-efficient driving tips from Natural Resources Canada:
1. Accelerate gently — this can reduce your fuel consumption by up to 15 per cent.
2. Drive at the posted speed limit. Decreasing your cruising speed from 120 km/h to 100 km/h will decrease fuel consumption by approximately 20 per cent.
3. Use air conditioning sparingly, as it can increase a vehicle’s fuel consumption by as much as 20 per cent.
4. Measure your tire pressure once a month. Operating a vehicle with its tires underinflated by 8 psi (56 kPa) can reduce the life of the tires by 10,000 kilometres and increase the vehicle’s fuel consumption by up to four per cent.
5. Don’t idle. Idling for more than 60 seconds uses more fuel and produces more carbon dioxide emissions compared to restarting your engine.
6. Use cruise control on dry, flat, wide-open highways to help improve fuel efficiency by maintaining an even and steady speed.
7. Take the most fuel-efficient route. Those with fewer stop lights and less traffic may use less fuel than shorter routes with more stop lights and heavy traffic.
8. Avoid carrying unnecessary weight. The less weight in your vehicle, the less fuel your engine will need and the fewer carbon dioxide emissions your vehicle will produce.
9. Calculate your mileage. Set your odometer every time you fill up and challenge yourself to get better and better readings.
10. Stay up-to-date on the latest info. Check out the Natural Resources Canada website at www.vehicles.gc.ca for some other fuel-efficient driving tips.