You spend a lot of money on a vehicle, probably the most money you'll spend on anything except a house. But the spending doesn't stop after you've bought it. It goes into things like insurance, repairs and fuel. One good piece of news is that you can cut down the amount you spend on fuel if you follow a few tips.
Keep your speed under 50 mph/80 kph. Anything over that and your fuel economy will go down quickly the faster you go. Sure, you can legally drive faster than that, but practice this one tip and it can save you from 7%-14% on fuel.
Use cruise control. The steady speed increases fuel economy by avoiding unnecessary braking and accelerating.
If your vehicle is carrying unnecessary weight, unload it. If you can save 100 pounds/45 kilograms, it can save you 1% of your fuel.
Don't idle. Let's say you're sitting in a parking lot with your engine running for 10 seconds. Any more and you're wasting fuel. Turn off your engine and start it when you have to get going. You may have noticed that many newer vehicles automatically turn the engine off when the vehicle stops.
Avoid using a roof rack. A cargo box strapped on the top of your vehicle can reduce your fuel economy by 2%-8% in city driving, by 6%-17% on the highway and by 10%-25% at highway speeds over 65 mph/105 mph.
Also, if you have roof rails on your vehicle with crossbars, you can save 1% of fuel simply by storing them somewhere else. Some vehicles like Chrysler's Pacifica minivan allow you to store the crossbars inside the roof rails to reduce drag.
Keep tires at their recommended inflation. It can save you 3% of your fuel bill.
Use the right motor oil for your vehicle. Using the wrong kind can cost you 1%-2% more money on fuel.
Sure, many of those savings are small on their own. But add them up and you'd be surprised at how much you can save. Also, keep in mind that a well maintained vehicle will also save you fuel, so make regular maintenance trips to your vehicle service facility.
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