Get the most bang for your buck with these five fuel-efficient tips!
Gas may be cheap right now – it's about $2 per gallon as I write this – but everything else here isn't. Beyond the stratospheric cost of rent, Colorado drivers also pay more for auto insurance than your average American, because not only is driving dangerous here, Denver has one of the highest rates of vehicle theft in the country. I know, I was skeptical until my truck got stolen a few months ago.
All of this means we need to pinch pennies like it's the Great Depression just to get by – or at least, I do. So with that, I want to pass along some car knowledge that'll help you save at the pump.
Make Sure Your Tires Are Properly Inflated
Did you ever ride a bike with low or flat tires? Remember how hard it was to pedal? The same principle applies to your car, so make sure you keep your tires properly inflated, not only for safety but for fuel efficiency. The recommended tire pressure is typically found on a label somewhere in the driver's door jam.
Change/Upgrade Your Air Filter
Cars need to breath just like we do, and if they can't, it's going to hurt your fuel economy. You can either replace your filter or install a reusable, cleanable, drop-in unit from a company like K&N. If you do clean the filter, be sure to follow the instructions exactly and make sure it's dry before using.
Use the A/C as Little as Possible
If you're just driving around town, put the windows down. Running your A/C compressor will likely drop your efficiency by 10 percent. If you're on the highway, though, you might want to consider using the A/C on a lower setting because when your vehicle's windows are open, they create aerodynamic drag.
Choose the Route with the Fewest Stops
If you're debating between taking the highway and a slightly shorter city route, the highway will always be a better option (unless it's bumper-to-bumper traffic). That's because the less you have to accelerate and brake, the better off you'll be. Remember, a mass in motion wants to stay in motion.
Drive Like a Granny
You don't have have to wander in the lane or leave your blinker on as you drive down the road, but you should try to avoid sudden, rapid acceleration, hard stops, and whatever you do, don't tailgate. Again, it goes back to Newton's second law. You'll also probably realize that you're not getting places that much quicker, if at all, and you don't have to risk getting a ticket or rear-ending somebody and facing Bachus & Schanker in court. So from a risk management standpoint, driving like a granny is also recommended.
What are your thoughts? Do you have any fuel saving tips you'd like to add? If so, let us know in the comments below!