5 WAYS TO SAVE GAS
1. Avoid Long Idling
The worst mileage a vehicle can get is 0 mpg, which occurs when it idles. Idling for long periods of time, whether at a railroad crossing or pulling off the road to make a cell phone call, consumes gas that could be saved by simply turning off the engine. Restarting an engine uses about the same amount of gas as idling for 30 seconds. When idling for longer periods of time, shut off the engine.
However, turning off the engine may disable vehicle functions, including safety features like airbags. Drivers should be certain to only utilize this strategy in situations where there is no possibility of collision.
2. Clean Out the Trunk and Eliminate Unnecessary Weight
Vehicles get much better mileage when they’re not loaded with unnecessary weight. Every 200 lbs. of additional weight trims one mile off fuel efficiency. Most drivers accumulate material in their vehicle trunks, some of it unnecessary. Instruct drivers to remove all non-required items from the vehicle, such as unneeded tools or materials.
3. Keep Tires Inflated to the Correct Pressure
Buy tire gauges for your drivers so they can ensure tires are inflated to the manufacturer’s recommended level. One underinflated tire can cut fuel economy by 2 percent per pound of pressure below the proper inflation level. One out of four drivers, on average, drives vehicles with one or more underinflated tires. When a tire is underinflated by 4-5 psi below the manufacturer’s recommended tire pressure, for example, vehicle fuel consumption increases by 10 percent and, over the long haul, causes a 15-percent reduction in tire tread life. Check the vehicle’s doorpost sticker for minimum tire inflation pressure.
4. Don’t Buy Premium Fuel
Resist the urge to buy higher-octane gas for “premium” performance, unless the vehicle requires it. Octane has nothing to do with gasoline performance; it merely indicates the volatility factor in the combustion chamber. Unless your vehicle owner’s manual specifically requires it, don’t use premium fuel. Fuel costs could be cut as much as 10 cents per gallon by using regular fuel instead of premium.
5. Encourage Drivers to Observe Posted Speed Limits
This tip may save a life as well as fuel. The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) estimates a 10- to 15-percent improvement in fuel economy by driving 55 mph instead of 65 mph.