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Top 10 Energy Efficiency Tips When On the Go

January 11, 2016

Slow down. Gas mileage usually decreases rapidly above 50 miles per hour (MPH). DOE says each 5 MPH over 50 is like paying an additional 25 cents per gallon for gas.
Combine errandsĀ into one tripSeveral short trips taken from a cold start can use twice as much fuel as a multipurpose trip covering the same distance when the engine is warm. If a typical family shaves just 5% off their current mileage, they could save up to $90 per year.
Avoid excessive idling. Idling can waste a quarter to a half gallon of fuel per hour, depending on engine size and air conditioner use. But it only takes a few seconds’ worth of fuel to restart your engine, according to DOE.
Use cruise control. Using cruise control on the highway helps you maintain a constant speed and, in most cases, will save gas and money.
Engage the overdrive gear.  With overdrive gearing, your car’s engine speed goes down, saving gas and reducing engine wear.
Beat the traffic. When possible, drive during off-peak hours to avoid stop-and-go or bumper-to-bumper traffic conditions, thereby reducing gas costs, time and stress!
Ditch the junk in the trunk & lose the loaded roof rack. Remove unnecessary items from your vehicle. An extra 100 pounds in your trunk could reduce mileage by 2%. Taking of off your bikes, luggage and anything else you’ve been lugging around longer than needed can decrease your fuel economy by 5%.
Tune up. Fixing a car that’s out of tune or has failed an emissions test can improve its gas mileage by an average of 4%. Fixing a serious maintenance problem, such as a faulty oxygen sensor, can improve your mileage by as much as 40%!
Keep tires properly inflated. Properly inflated tires can improve mileage by up to 3.3%. Conversely, under-inflated tires can lower gas mileage by 0.3% for every 1 psi drop in pressure in all four tires, according to DOE. In addition, proper inflation improves tire longevity and your safety while driving. DOE cautions not to go by the maximum pressure printed on the tire’s sidewall. Instead, find the proper tire pressure for your vehicle – it should be on a sticker on the driver’s side door jamb, in the glove box, and/or in your owner’s manual.
Use the right oil. Not using the manufacturer’s recommended grade of motor oil may lower your gas mileage by 1-2%. DOE also advises looking for the phrase “Energy Conserving” on the American Petroleum Institute performance symbol to ensure that the oil contains friction-reducing additives.

Sources: Alliance to Save Energy research and Department of Energy’s fueleconomy.gov.

 

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