You will be surprised to learn that fuel economy of light-duty vehicles like cars and SUVs have increased by 12.5 Miles Per Gallon(MPG) in the last 9 years. A report by the US Energy Information Administration suggests that the fuel economy in 2010 for cars was just 23.5 MPG.
Here are the 4 ways you are wasting fuel and how can you stop it.
1. Not driving on cruise control
Cruise control is a servomechanism which automatically controls the speed of the vehicle or as set by the driver. It is also known as autocruise or tempomat. Increasing the fuel efficiency of the vehicle was one of the main goals that lead auto engineers to this discovery.
Most people use this feature only while on a long drive as it also reduces fatigue in the driver. Using it on your daily commute can save a ton of money. Switch to cruise control anytime you are on a highway or an open road.
2. Driving too slow
To be honest, the speed of your car has nothing to do with fuel efficiency. At least not directly. But driving slow increases the revolutions per minute (RPMs) of a revolving shaft and driveshaft of your car. Meaning, more pressure on the engine and hence, more fuel consumption.
Most people drive low due to traffic or bad condition of the roads. I am not asking you to cross the speed limit of the road, but find out the speed at which the engine(or your car) functions optimally. To save money on gas, try to drive at the optimum speed and not extreme speeds.
I know what your next question is? How do I know how hard my engine is working? Simply have a look at the tachometer which is located on the dashboard itself. Ideally, your tachometer needle should rise and drop steadily without any jerky movements. Jerky movements indicate a problem with your engine.
3. Jamming more passengers in your car
Every car has a maximum payload limit up to which the vehicle will function at the mileage specified by the manufacturer. Increasing or going beyond the maximum payload will increase fuel consumption. More people you shove in your car, the more money you will be spending on gas.
Secondly, some cars also have the facility to attach boating equipment and a trailer at the rear end. This can also prove to be hefty when it comes to fuel consumption. Such external attachments are very heavy and will most certainly exceed the maximum payload of your car.
4. Driving in the wrong gear
There is a specific speed range for every gear that offers maximum fuel efficiency. You are supposed to be traveling at a speed somewhere in the range. The moment you increase or slow down the speed–without adjusting the gear– your car begins to make a distinct sound. The sounds go away the moment you change to the right gear.
Hence, when you try to speed up your car in a lower gear, you demand a greater torque from the engine. This leads to wastage of fuel.
Most people spend more money on fuel each month as a result of not knowing how the car works. You don’t have to become an auto-scientist but just learn the basics of how an Internal Combustion(IC) engine work and you will become smarter with your fuel usage.