Tips to Save Gas

Here are a few tips to save gas to get you started reducing your Carbon Footprint and saving (as in Dollars):

Drive Less

Not meant as a joke - it's a simple fact that by driving less, you will indeed conserve petrol, Right?

Apart from locking the car in the garage and use absolutely No gas, it is important to still get errands done in a timely manner.

Now, if you can use public transit, or use a bicycle, or walk, instead of your car - that's a bonus!

So many times public transit or walking to the store is not a viable option.

There are several 'soft' solutions available:

  1. Schedule your drive around the Rush Hour period to minimize unnecessary idling (fuel and time waste) due to traffic delays;
  2. Keep your vehicle well-maintained.
  • Examples: - under-inflated tires require more force/energy to roll.
  • change the air filter per vehicle manufacturer's recommendation. Air is necessary for efficient working of the engine...and the entire supply passes through the air filter. (If it's clogged, less fuel is combusted and you'll notice it trickling out of the tail pipe. Not good.).

Driving and Maintenance Pointers

Your Owner's Manual provides important information re: how to drive and maintain your vehicle for best performance and efficiency;

Your vehicle manufacturer's recommended maintenance schedule is important.

Service the vehicle regularly as poorly maintained vehicles use (waste) more fuel and create more emissions;

Check fluid levels at least once a month.

Remember to follow manufacturer's recommendations (see owner's manual) about check and change

  • engine oil
  • engine coolant
  • transmission fluid

Check around and under the vehicle for fluid leaks. Have any leaks repaired.

Tire pressure should be measured at least once a month. Tires should be inflated when cold to the recommended pressure.

What is the correct tire pressure for your vehicle?

You will find this specific information, typically:

  • near the driver's door:
  • in the glove box :
  • in the owner's manual.

Did you know?....for every 4 lb/ (or 28 kilopascaals) of under-inflation, you will be using 2% more fuel.

Thus: it really pays to have properly inflated tires. BONUS: the tires will last longer & make your vehicle safer to drive.

Reduce idling:

It is recommended that if you are going to be parked for more than 60-seconds, that you should consider turning off the engine.

Unnecessary idling wastes fuel (aka your cash), and produces GHGs (Greenhouse Gas) that contribute to climate change.

That said: be cautious of switching engine off&on frequently (eg. rush hour traffic) as this could lead to starter failure.

Probably if you find yourself in the coffee queue at the local donut shop, it is best done standing inside the shop unless there is a compelling, valid reason not to.

Warming up your vehicle

is best done by driving it at moderate speed, rather than idling the engine. In winter, typically 60-seconds of idling is typically needed.

Exception: if your vehicle windows are not yet defrosted and the vehicle is not free of snow - idling a bit longer is OK. (Use the time to brush away the snow and ice.)

Are you among the Chosen Frozen?...........Consider ..........

Using a block heater in winter

Block heaters are amazing since warming the engine before starting can increase winter fuel economy by as much as 10%.

Consider that a cold engine is at its worst for wasting fuel, wear on the engine and exhaust emissions.

Block heaters need to be activated no more than two hours prior to when you plan to drive.

An automatic timer handles that aspect very well. Also consider using a wireless switch that you can trigger when you plan on heading out.

What about remote starters?

Probably you may not want to overuse your remote starter.

e.g. Did you ever receive a phone call as you were heading for the car? Sure - happens all the time, Right? And 10 or 20 minutes later you're still glued to the phone.....and your fuel supply is depleting steadily.

Well, that is but one way remote starts result in needless idling and wasted fuel.

Limit remote car starter use and unnecessary warm-up times to 60 seconds.

Avoid speeding

Increasing your highway speed from 100 km/h to 120 km/h (60 mph to 70 mph) can increase your fuel consumption by up to 20%.

Cruise control used under normal driving conditions, helps save fuel by keeping your speed constant. Inadvertent speeding is avoided. (Your vehicle owners manual explains how to safely operate its cruise control system.)

Other Great Tips....

Use vehicle's air conditioning sparingly as fuel consumption can be increased by up to 20%.

To avoid the extra load on the engine:

Highway: use your vehicle's flow-through ventilation

City: Open a window

Of course, when conditions require air conditioning, you can set the controls to a comfort level that causes the A/C system to shut off once the vehicle's interior is cool. (See vehicle owner's manual for information on its A/C system.)

Remove unnecessary weight. Check to see if you are carrying unnecessary extra weight that results in wasted fuel and needless CO2 emissions. e.g.: Do you add weight to your vehicle for extra traction in Winter? Remember to remove it in Spring.

Using a roof rack? Consider removing it when not in use as roof racks, loaded or empty, increase fuel consumption through aerodynamic drag. Your best option is a removable roof rack, installed only when needed.

Fuel efficient driving habits are no-cost ways to save fuel/money.

  • Accelerate smoothly: abrupt starts and stops waste fuel
  • Plan your driving - look ahead of traffic Anticipate problems
  • Remain a safe distance from the car ahead to avoid sudden braking. (Rule of thumb: stay 2 white lines minimum behind the car ahead.)
  • Combine trips so short trips (< 5 km) are minimized. Such short trips burn more fuel as the engine and drive-train do not reach their most efficient operating temperatures. They can also lead to early corrosion in the exhaust system.
  • Finally, consider using alternate modes of transport: Walk, car-pool, cycle or take public transit whenever you can.