Being a car owner requires several responsibilities to keep your vehicle in optimum condition. Learning how to drive is just one of them. So read on to know and spread the word to every Juan and Juana.
1. MONITOR FUEL CONSUMPTION
Record distance traveled and gasoline consumed to calculate fuel economy. Keep track of your savings. What you monitor, you manage.
2. PLAN YOUR JOURNEY
Avoid congested routes and peak hours. Combine small trips and errands. Know your way before leaving and check for road blocks and repairs for an efficient, hassle-free trip.
3. DRIVE SENSIBLY
Accelerate and decelerate smoothly to avoid unnecessary braking. Aggressive driving will not really get you to your destination earlier. It will only decrease your fuel efficiency by as much as 38% in highway driving and 5% in city driving. Stay off the road if you are stressed, angry or over-excited. Sensible driving is safer for you and others.
4. GAS UP WISELY
Use only quality, clean fuels. Do not fill fuel tank up to the brim and tighten gas cap to avoid spillage. Buy gasoline at the coolest time of the day. Early morning is best.
5. DRIVE YOUR VEHICLE TO WARM IT UP
Even on the coldest mornings, running your engine for a few seconds is all you need before your vehicle is ready to drive. Your vehicle will reach its optimum operating temperature much faster when you are driving rather than idling.
6. MAINTAIN A CONSTANT SPEED
Choose the highest gear suited for your speed, then drive steadily and safely. Try to keep rolling and avoid unnecessary breaking, as pumping the accelerator consumes more fuel. Anticipate when you should start and stop to avoid wasteful braking and accelerating.
7. GET RID OF ALL EXTRA WEIGHT
Remove unnecessary, heavy items in your vehicle. Each 100 lbs. extra load reduces fuel economy by up to 2% and up to 5% with a loaded roof rack. Reduce aerodynamic drag and improve your fuel economy by placing items inside the trunk whenever possible.
8. TURN OFF ENGINE WHILE WAITING
For any stop of more than 60 seconds, whether you're stuck in traffic at a level crossing, or waiting for someone to get in, switch off engine to lessen fuel consumption and CO2 emissions. Idling wastes gas and money and gets you zero km/liter.
9. OBSERVE PROPER MAINTENANCE
Change oil and oil filters at intervals recommended by the manufacturer. Dirty oil and low oil levels can cause friction and rob you of gasoline mileage. Without a good tune-up, a vehicle uses as much as 20% more gasoline than a well-tuned vehicle.
10. KEEP TIRES PROPERLY INFLATED
Check your tire pressure every two weeks. Under-inflated tires require the engine to produce more power, therefore consume more fuel. While over-inflated tires are dangerous due to weak traction. Using the correct tire pressure will help keep you safe and also extend the life of your expensive tires.
11. PARK YOUR CAR PROPERLY
Park your car in the shade of a building or a tree whenever possible. Use your garage for your car.
12. CONSIDER REPLACING YOUR OLD VEHICLE
Measure the cost of keeping your old car against getting a newer, more fuel-efficient vehicle.
Photo source: Jamison Britton
Text source: Business for Environmentally Sustainable Transport