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How to Increase the Efficiency of Your Car

increase the fuel efficiency of your carImage by (Joenomias) Menno de Jong from Pixabay

Your car’s fuel efficiency isn’t just an expense concern, but it’s also a way that we can do our part to help the environment on an individual basis. Making sure that our cars can make the most of their fuel supply will help us to curb our reliance on fossil fuels. Additionally maintaining the car allows you to increase the efficiency of your car and helps to better preserve the engines for long term durability. Thus reducing manufacturing demand.

Electric hybrid cars are the best option for reducing reliance on fossil fuels. However, for many people, purchasing a new car just isn’t feasible. When more efficient methods of transportation aren’t an option, the best you can do is to fix up the car you have. So what can you do to make sure that your car is as efficient as possible?

Here are some tips and maintenance to help increase the efficiency of your car.

1. Drive Steadily

Revving the engine, accelerating quickly, slamming on the breaks, and other marks of erratic driving all for your engine to work harder and burn more fuel than it needs to. Instead, avoid indulging your lead foot. The faster you go the greater the wind drag your engine will have to battle. That means that abrupt acceleration and driving more quickly than necessary could cause you to burn through your gas more quickly than slower, steadier driving.

Additionally, avoid abrupt stopping when possible. Instead, opt for slower, more gradual stops. While it doesn’t cost as much to stop as it does to accelerate, bringing your car to a stop from a high speed requires more energy than allowing the car to wind down more gradually.

2. Decrease the Weight Loaded Into Your Car

It can be tempting to use the trunk of a car for extra mobile storage space. However, the more weight that the car is required to haul on a regular basis, the more fuel it will cost to run it. Increasing the weight puts a strain on the engine, forcing it to work harder and use up gas. To get a feel for your car’s ideal weight capacity, you can check the Gross Vehicle Weight Rating (GVWR) of your model. Loading your car will more weight than it’s built to handle will cause fuel consumption to increase drastically.

3. Check Your Tire Pressure

Keeping your tires at the correct pressure will not only preserve your tires from extra wear and tear, but it will also keep your fuel efficiency stable. Under-inflated tires suffer more rolling resistance, which forces the engine to exert more effort just to roll the tires across the road. When the tires are properly inflated, on the other hand, the resistance is reduced, therefore decreasing the effort that the engine exerts to move the car.

This is actually some of the easiest maintenance that you can perform on your own. It simply requires the use of tire gauge and a tire filling station, frequently available at gas stations. Pressure gauges have become more accurate with digital technology, and some will even help you to keep track of your pressure in real-time when synced with your smartphone or other smart gadgets.

4. Stay Aerodynamic and Reduce Drag

Roof or trunk racks are useful storage solutions for outdoors and sports enthusiasts. For instance, they allow you to take a bicycle along with you on a longer trip. However, when this storage isn’t in frequent use, you can increase your fuel efficiency by removing this extra-drag on the car.

This is because roof racks and other storage make the car less aerodynamic which can cause your car to move more slowly at the same fuel output. Aerodynamic cars can move more quickly while using less fuel.

5. Check the Seal on Your Gas Cap

The seal around your gas cap can actually degrade over time. If you have an older car, this is worth checking. You most likely won’t need to check for it often, but it can be a red flag if your car seems to burn through fuel rapidly. Look for cracks or crumbling in the seal.

Leaky seals can increase the oxygen that passes through the tank, which in turn increases the amount of air that enters the engine when it draws fuel from the tank. The increased oxygen in the fuel will cause the engine to burn more gas.

6. Turn Your Car Off Instead of Idling

Every hour that your car sits idling can burn between a half-gallon up to a full gallon of fuel. Not to mention, idling still releases carbon dioxide into the air. Instead of idling in the car, you burn less fuel by shutting off the engine until you are ready to drive again.

Also watch out for wasting fuel in the morning. It’s a common practice to start or warm up the car early in the morning before you are ready to leave. With contemporary cars, it’s safe for the car and actually more efficient to simply start it right when you’re ready to go.

7. Replace the Air Filter

Replacing the air filter is a simple and cost-efficient way of easily improving a car’s gas mileage. A dirty air filter can have particles that cause a blockage. That means that when clogged, the car’s engine needs to work even harder to draw air through the dirty filter.

Most people will find that they can install or replace their own air filter. Furthermore, the replacement of a particularly dirty air filter can improve gas mileage up to fifteen percent. The majority of cars will have manufacturer recommendations for how often to replace the filter. Nonetheless, if you drive frequently, long distances, or in dry and dusty climates, it is generally worthwhile to replace it once a year.

8. Strategize How You Use the Air Conditioning

Air conditioner generally decreases the fuel economy of the car when in use. However, there are some tricks for knowing when it’s worth it to use the air conditioning and when it’s not. For slow driving and city driving where acceleration in sustained spurts is impossible, it’s better to roll down the windows and get a breeze.

In situations where you’re driving quickly on the highway, on the other hand, it’s actually more efficient to roll the windows up and turn on the air conditioning. The reduction in wind drag will make the air conditioning more efficient than the windows.

Increasing the efficiency of your car only takes a few steps while offering you the double benefits of decreasing your expenses and optimizing your current lifestyle to take less of a toll on the environment.

Clay Miller
the authorClay Miller
I am the creator/writer of Ways2GoGreen.com and Ways2GoGreenBlog.com. I'm an advocate for oceans, beaches, state parks. I enjoy all things outdoors (e.g. running, golf, gardening, hiking, etc.) I am a graduate of the University of Kentucky (Go Wildcats!!). I'm also a huge fan of the Pittsburgh Steelers. I was born and raised in the beautiful state of Kentucky.

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