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September 2008
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Maximize Your Fuel Economy

With the rising cost of fuel we will no doubt will we have to change our consumption patterns. But it is not easy to change something that has become such a habit for us, plus it is a lot of fun to push the envelope and see how fast you can accelerate on the on-ramp to the expressway.


In an effort to help us curb our fuel consumption patterns WiseBread, a community of bloggers that offer tips on how to live large on a small budget, published 108 Tips To Raise Fuel Economy. Some of them are practical, other a little less practical. Here is my summary of the ones we can implement in our lives to stretch the time between fill-ups.


Don’t Drive Aggressively

Did you know that you decrease your fuel efficiency by 33% when you floor the gas and slam on the brakes?


Plan your stops ahead of time

Not your pit stops, like grocery store, fitness club, etc, but plan in terms of stop lights and stop signs. Rather than holding the gas until you need to break, coast to a stop.


Accelerate Slowly

It’s tempting to race the guy in the Corvette beside you just to prove that your little, fuel efficient Honda, Toyota, Mini … (insert your car here) is faster, but it’s really fuel inefficient. Once you go passed a quarter of the way down while accelerating the gas gets pumped into the engine as opposed to the fuel line


Don’t Idle

If you are idling for more than 30sec you will actually save more gas by turning your car off and restarting it. If you drive a hybrid you don’t have to worry about this, they automatically turn the engine off when idling. In Switzerland, and maybe the rest of Europe, drivers turn their engines off at a red light. The amber then flashes, indicating drivers to turn their engines on, just before the light changes to green, further reducing idling time.


Use Momentum to Travel Uphill

It is more efficient to build speed on a flat, even more efficient on the down-slope, and use that momentum to carry you uphill.


Use A/C Sparingly

Using your A/C can reduce your fuel efficiency by 25%. Instead trying rolling down the windows when you’re under 80km/h (above 80km/h it is more efficient to use the A/C, open windows have a great affect on the drag of the car, decreasing fuel efficiency).


Optimize Tire Pressure

Lower pressure tires mean increased friction leading to poor fuel efficiency.


Tune Up

Keep up with regular maintenance, inefficiencies can result from a poorly maintained car.


Cluster your Errands

Run all your errands at once and get the most out of your travels


Avoid Peak Traffic Times

If possible adjust your travel schedule to avoid the congestion. Find a gym close to work. Go in early so you can leave early.


These are just some of the creative ideas that WiseBread came up with. For all 108 Fuel Economy tips visit WiseBread’s website and subscribe to either email or RSS.


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Time September 11, 2008 at 6:43 pm

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