What’s the Best Driving Style for Better Fuel Economy?
Though gas prices fluctuate, the days of a gallon of gas costing less than a dollar are long gone, which means most drivers are always looking for ways to save a little extra money on fuel. Knowing which gas stations have the best prices is one way to watch your fuel costs, as is regular vehicle maintenance. But you can also make a big impact toward better fuel economy simply by adjusting your driving style to best suit your vehicle’s efficiency.
Before we look at these five driving techniques, keep in mind that there is no magical solution to getting amazing gas mileage out of a car that is already lacking in efficiency. Though these tips can maximize a vehicle’s efficiency, you can’t take a gas-guzzling pickup and achieve the same fuel economy as a Prius. Better fuel economy starts with finding a better vehicle to save on gas.
Driving Techniques That Will Improve Your Gas Mileage
- Ease off the accelerator: Driving can and should be fun, but if you want to maximize your vehicle’s efficiency, you’ll need to accelerate a little more gently. Sudden acceleration can use more fuel than necessary and cause you to greatly exceed the speed limit. Keep in mind that it should take you about 5 seconds to go from 0 – 15 mph for the best efficiency.
- Brake easy: When it comes to the other pedal in your car, a similar rule applies. Unless you have to slam on your brakes to avoid an accident, try to ease into braking when approaching a stop, which will in-turn also maximize the longevity of your tires and brake pads.
- Drive at a consistent speed: The cruise control feature in your vehicle is there for a reason, so use it. Not only does it make highway driving easier for you, but it also keeps the vehicle at a steady speed. This means you are using a more consistent amount of fuel throughout the drive, rather than doing what many drivers do and allowing your speed to dip, only to mash the accelerator shortly after to get back up to the desired speed.
- Plan ahead: One way to stay at a steady speed is by always remaining alert to what is happening on the road and always be thinking about what your next maneuver needs to be. For example, if you know your exit is approaching on the highway, make plans to merge as soon as possible. This will help you to avoid having to accelerate in order to merge ahead of someone. You should also avoid what is often seen in heavy traffic, which is drivers approaching close behind the vehicle ahead of them only to slam the brakes on each time. Not only can this cause panic for the drivers behind you, but it is also a waste of your fuel.
- Don’t speed: There are a number of reasons you shouldn’t exceed the speed limit, one of the most important being that it is simply against the law. But it can potentially waste your fuel as well. Though fuel economy ratings always suggest that highway driving is more efficient than city driving, there is a limit. Efficient highway driving tends to max out around 50 mph. After you exceed that speed, your fuel economy may start to dip.
Though these driving techniques and styles for better fuel economy may seem like a simple way to boost gas mileage, they will require some discipline to adhere to. Just keep in mind that the safest driving also tends to be best style of driving in order to maximize efficiency. With that said, be sure to check back to the Hiland Toyota blog for more driving tips in the future.