We at Metropia Inc. often encourage the use of alternative modes of transportation when your schedule and location allow it, however we recognize that a whopping 86% of commuters here in the US are still driving (whether alone or in a carpool).
With this seemingly unshakable statistic in mind, we’ve decided to dig up some handy tips on how to improve the fuel efficiency in your car while you’re out there driving in your city. Better fuel economy means saving money, reducing oil dependence costs, reducing climate change, and increasing energy sustainability - sounds worthwhile to us!
Without further ado, here are some smart ways to keep your money and your fuel going further:
1. Set your tires to the right inflation.
Well-inflated tires can reduce fuel consumption, and while checking them monthly is recommended, checking them weekly is even better for consistency. Tires generally lose about 1 PSI per month, although a significant drop in the temperature due to changing seasons can cause tires to lose pressure even faster.
Consistently well-inflated tires also mean less wear on the tread - yet another bonus!
2. Tune up that engine.
Getting your engine tuned up means increasing power, and with it, fuel efficiency. Be sure to communication to your mechanic, however, that your priority for this tuning is the fuel efficiency more so than the power!
3. Check your tire alignment.
Recently go over a particularly nasty pothole? Occurrences like this one can twist a wheel out of alignment, putting more work on the other tires to keep the car moving smoothly forward.
That extra work on the other tires can reduce the power of your car and certainly your fuel economy.
4. Inspect the cleanliness of your engine air filter.
A filthy filter will not only reduce fuel efficiency, it can cause your engine to stall when you are idling. If you’re a particularly outdoorsy type with your car, or tend to drive often on dirt roads, this is one task you should be sure to tackle.
5. Maintain your speed with cruise control.
While this tip has more to do with your driving behavior than the functionality of your car, this is an excellent piece of advice that is especially relevant for those who are often on the freeway. Using cruise control means keeping your car going at a consistent speed, thus saving on fuel.
Although driving on the freeway is often a more promising option because it means less stoplights, drivers still tend to speed up and slam on their brakes, especially when driving aggressively. Cruise control takes the neck-and-neck competitive nature out of driving on the freeway, and considering the “leadfoot” some drivers can get without even noticing, this is a nice way to save yourself from that potential speeding ticket too.
6. Drive smoothly.
Sure, that sounds lovely, but what does driving smoothly mean considering that nobody means to drive in a rough, jerky fashion? What we mean is slow down, Speed Racer, accelerate smoothly when that light turns green, avoid braking hard, avoid idling, maintain a safe following distance with the car ahead of you, and if you are a true master - time lights as you slowly approach them.
All of these pointers may sound like “Driving for Squares” to you, but if you mean to cut down on trips to the pump, you ought to consider them. Drive like you have a fragile item on/in the passenger’s seat and you don’t mean to make it slide forward, jerk back, or tip entirely over.
Oh, and idling in the car with you smartphone, selecting tunes for the road, would be better accomplished with the engine off - save that fuel!
7. Plan your trips and routes.
Have you got a list of errands or meetings to tick off that are all over town? Save fuel and plot out your points so that you don’t end up back on the other side of town later, kicking yourself for the time you’ve lost. Also keep in mind when particular areas are likely to get congested, so that you can avoid them, and move them up or down your list to keep yourself in motion - a task made simple by the Trip Reservation feature on the Metropia App.
We wish you luck in your pursuit of time and fuel savings. Remember that the less time you spend in the car, the healthier you and the environment will be - you’ll be winning in a whole lot of ways.