Fuel economy weighs on a lot of people’s minds, especially with fuel prices being what they are. For many, a car with good fuel economy is essential if they drive a lot for work or live somewhere more rural where things are farther apart. Unfortunately, we do quite a few things that increase our vehicle’s fuel consumption without realizing it. Here are just a few things that could reduce your vehicle’s fuel economy that you might already do on a regular basis.
Using It for Many Short Trips
Starting up and powering down your engine over and over again uses more fuel than you realize. That’s why it’s a good idea to limit the number of times you use your vehicle for very short trips. You don’t always need the car to visit someone who lives down the road from you. That short trip might just cost you a lot more in fuel expenses than you think.
Hard Braking and Accelerating
When you brake hard and accelerate too quickly, you end up forcing your engine to switch its gears much faster than normal. That’s why aggressive driving is one of the worst things you can do for your vehicle’s fuel economy. The larger the engine, the more beneficial it is to drive smoothly. If you want better fuel economy for your diesel engine, for example, you should try to take your starts and stops very slowly and smoothly.
Carrying Excess Weight
We all have things we keep in our cars for emergencies or convenience. But the more weight you put in your car, the more power it needs to start pushing it forward. So leaving a ton of heavy equipment in your car for a long time can waste a lot more fuel than normal because of how much harder the engine needs to work.
Obviously, you don’t want to turn off the engine in traffic or anything so drastic, but idling your car when you don’t need it on is a bad idea for multiple reasons. Not only is it bad for the environment, but it also wastes fuel for no reason. If you think that you won’t need to drive your car any time in the next few minutes, it’s a better idea to turn it off completely.
Driving With the Windows Open
All vehicles have to deal with wind resistance. The shapes of car exteriors reduce this wind resistance by a lot, but you lose this feature if you drive with your windows open. With the windows rolled down, you create more space for air to slow your vehicle, meaning you need more power to reach and maintain a specific speed. Especially on highways, keep those windows shut.