I don’t know about where you live, but gas prices are definitely going up where I live. My vehicle uses premium gas and right now it’s around 1.25/litre meaning close to $80.00 a fill up and the prices are supposed to keep going up! A few years ago I remember paying 1.50/lt and it’s supposed to go higher this time around. So here are some tips to saving gas while you drive:
- Combine your trips - sounds so simple but if you live in town sometimes it’s easy to just run out and get things as you think of them. A warmed up engine is more fuel-efficient. When you first start your engine even if you live in a warm climate it is cold and it burns more gas.
- Don’t waste gas by idling - how many times have you gone through the drive through lately or are waiting for someone. If you are going to be stopped for more than 30 seconds, shut your car off and restart it when it’s time to move.
- Change your spark plugs - seems that nowadays spark plugs last forever, but a fouled spark plug can reduce your fuel efficiency by as much as 30%.
- Drive with windows open if you are going less then 60km/hr. Obviously I wouldn’t suggest this in the winter but in the summer time for sure. If you are going over 60 km/hr. then close your windows, as your car will be more aerodynamically efficient.
- Check your tire pressure - Most people have at least one under inflated tire on their vehicle. When your tires are low it creates a greater rolling resistance and the engine has to work harder to get through the air. Kind of like riding a bike with low air. You have to work a lot of harder to pedal the bike!
- Don’t use cruise control in hilly areas - If you are using cruise control and going up and down hills what happens is the engine holds you back as you are going down the hill to try and maintain the speed you’ve set the cruise control at and as you go up the hill the transmission will have to downshift to give you the necessary power to get up the hill. Keep your momentum up as you go down the hill to help you get up the hill.
- Get rid of the extra weight - are you driving around with your kids hockey equipment and your gym equipment and water softener salt in the back of your car? If so, you are going to burn more gas
- Take off your roof rack - if you don’t use it, take it off.
- Keep your car clean - believe it or not a clean car will glide through the air more efficiently than a really dirty one.
Race car driver, educator, safety advocate, TV personality, Kelly Williams started racing cars at 17 years old and continued to race for 15 years. Now she works in the automotive industry, teaching women about taking care of their vehicles. She also teaches performance driver training with BMW as well as other manufacturers, keeps busy as a spokesperson for Be Car Care Aware, hosts ladies' Car Care clinics across Canada, and has recently launched a new consumer website www.KellysGarage.ca
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