The Car and Truck Fleet and Leasing Management Magazine Offers Fuel-Saving Tips

September 17, 2007 offers a range of driving tips to conserve fuel and save money. Here's some advice to hand off to your fleet drivers. For starters, accelerate normally from a fully stopped position. "Flooring" the gas pedal pushes more fuel to the engine and wastes gasoline. Drive steadily. Slowing down or speeding up wastes gas. Every time your speed exceeds 55 mph your fuel economy drops by 2 percent. Avoid tailgating. Not only is it dangerous, but slowing down unexpectedly negatively affects your fuel consumption. Driving fast in low gears consumes up to 45 percent more gas than is needed. Driving at the speed limit saves you one-third of the cost of a gallon. Every mile over the speed limit adds $.02 cents per gallon and it burns faster. So try cruising on the highway. Exceeding 45 mph forces your car to overcome tremendous wind resistance which, in turn, uses more horsepower and gas. When driving on a highway, you need to keep your windows closed. This relates to the property of wind resistance. Your car has to work harder to maintain the desired speed, causing air drag and losing momentum. Think ahead when approaching hills. Don't accelerate when driving uphill --- it makes your mileage per gallon go up. Instead, try to drive at the same speed, or even a little slower. Remove the luggage and roof racks from your car and all related outdoorsy gear and put it away until they are back in season. Get rid of the junk in your trunk. The extra weight reduces your mileage per gallon. Avoid using your engine needlessly. If and when you are at a standstill at a railroad crossing, or long traffic light, for example, place gear into neutral position. This reduces transmission strain and allows transmission to cool without wasting fuel. Don't take a long time to warm up the engine --- 40 seconds is enough time. Avoid overfilling the gas tank. If the nozzle is automatic, wait for the click that indicates that you have filled up your car to full capacity. Overfilling the tank causes spills and wastes gas. The best time to buy gas is when it's coolest outside, which is either early morning or late evening. During these times gasoline is densest. Density measures mass per unit of volume and gas pumps measure volumes of gasoline, not densities of fuel concentration. You are charged according to "volume of measurement." Choose the type and brand of gasoline carefully. Certain brands provide you with greater economy because of better quality. If your vehicle does not require premium grade gas don't use it. You get better fuel economy with a lower gasoline grade. Check your vehicle's air filter and tire pressure. A clogged or dirty air filter can slow your vehicle down and use more gasoline. Under-inflated tires could cause excessive drag, slowing the vehicle and causing the engine to consume more gas. Avoid driving on roughness whenever possible, because dirt or gravel strips your gas mileage. Perform regular check-ups to ensure smooth operation of your vehicle. Any unforeseen malfunction causes problems in other areas. Even if your car seems to be running well, that mystifying "Check Engine" light could represent a dead oxygen sensor or some other emissions control problem that causes the vehicle to waste several miles per gallon. Air conditioners can reduce fuel economy by 10 to 20 percent. Heater fan, power windows and seats increase engine load. The more load on your engine, the less miles per gallon. During cold weather, you need to watch for piled up snow and ice on the car frame since they cause tremendous wind resistance. Warm water will quickly dissolve any accumulations.
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