It’s no secret that fuel economy can be strongly connected to the way in which the owner drives their vehicle.  Below are a few tips to keep in mind about your various driving habits and routines that may be negatively affecting your fuel economy, thus sending you back to pay for the higher gas prices in Georgia.

Drive calmly

drivecalmlyExperts continue to tell people that aggressive drivers (excessive acceleration, frequent braking, speeders) waste more gas than those who take their time when driving.  By avoiding the left hand lane, keeping a safe distance from the cars ahead of you and following other simple rules of the road, you can effectively lower your gas mileage by about 33% on the highway and around 5% in the city.

Empty your trunk

While the added weight of your golf clubs and a few boxes may not seem like much, these unnecessary items can add up to hurt your fuel consumption.  An extra 100 pounds has been shown to reduce a car’s MPG by about 2%.

Avoid roof racks

Roof racks on cars decrease the vehicle’s aerodynamics by creating greater drag, thus hurting fuel economy.  Unless you absolutely must use one to transport something that won’t fit inside your vehicle, remove this item to help save some fuel points.

Plan out your trips

blackcarWhen you leave your house to go somewhere can make all the difference when it comes to idling in bumper-to-bumper traffic versus cruising at optimal speeds on the highway.  Leaving your house an extra 30 minutes earlier for work may mean you miss out on a little extra sleep but could help you avoid the early morning rush hour traffic.  Beyond planning on when you drive, creating the most fuel efficient routes for your travels can help save money and gas.  Whether you’re finding the best route to get to and from work or planning on how to most efficiently hit all the different stores on your errands list, planning out the various aspects of your trips can help you avoid gas wasting.

Avoid engine idle

An engine at idle for 1 hour can use up to a quarter of a gallon of gasoline while starting a car will only use a few second’s worth.  If you are parked in a place for over a minute, you should consider turning off your engine in order to save gas from an idling engine.

AC on or windows down?

One of the highly debated fuel efficiency tips comes down to when using the AC is better than rolling the windows down.  A recent study showed that having 2 windows rolled down while traveling at speeds below 55 mph is more efficient than running the AC while care going at speeds over 55 mph have shown to burn less fuel using running the AC over opening windows.

Wait to let your engine warm up

While a previous section tells drivers to avoid engine idle, this suggestion acts as the exception to the rule.  Many mechanical issues that cars deal with can be at least somewhat attributed to the driver’s impatience to let their vehicle fully warm up before driving.  By turning your car on and allowing it to run for a few minutes before putting it into gear (especially when cold or after it has been sitting overnight) you are allowing the engine to reach an efficient temperature to run at and will see better fuel economy from it.

By making a few personal changes to how you prepare yourself for driving, you can literally save gallons of gas to help you stretch every penny.  Don’t let the high gas prices in Georgia get you down anymore and start making the most out of every gallon with these helpful hints!  Have any other fuel saving tactics that we didn’t cover? Let us know on Facebook!