20 Ways to Improve Your Fuel Efficiency and Save Money at the Pump

Whether you’re trying to save some money, or you’re trying to limit your carbon footprint, you probably want to come up with a way to improve your vehicle’s fuel efficiency.

Did you know that your vehicle can burn up to 30 percent more fuel if it’s not properly maintained? It’s true, bringing your car to a reputable Kingston automotive repair shop regularly can dramatically improve your fuel efficiency.

We put together a list of 20 things you can do to improve your fuel efficiency.

  1. Maintain Your Electrical System – A lot of your car’s components require gasoline or diesel to run. Corroded battery cables can cause your alternator to work harder and therefore use more fuel. Make sure you ask your local automotive repair garage to clean and inspect your cables.
  2. Get Regular Tune Ups – Scheduling regular engine check-ups will have a huge impact on your vehicle’s health for years to come. Ensuring that your spark plugs, oxygen sensors, and filters are up to snuff will help improve your fuel efficiency. It may also help to get a Fuel System Decarbonisation.
  3. Idling is Bad – Idling your vehicle is bad for both your fuel usage and of course the environment. An hour of idling can lead to using nearly two litres of fuel. Many cities have bylaws meant to curb pointless idling. Kingston drivers can be fined after idling for three minutes in the summer and five minutes in the winter. We recommend that you start your vehicle, idle for 20 seconds to build oil pressure and drive.
  4. Keep Your Tires Inflated – This is actually very common. Under-inflated tires will cause your car to burn more fuel. Tires underinflated by only eight percent can actually increase your vehicle’s rolling resistance by up to five percent. Not a good idea if you’re trying to save money at the pump. If your tires have a leak be sure to have them repaired, or perhaps it may be times to purchase new tires.
  5. Make Every Cent Count – Gas isn’t cheap, so why would you want to leave it at the gas station. Make sure that you get every drop of gas out of the pump. When fuelling up you want to leave the nozzle in your tank until all the fuel you paid for is gone.
  6. Change Your Filter – You should replace your vehicle’s air filter as frequently as outlined in your owner’s manual. If you drive in more dusty environments you’ll want to swap it out sooner.
  7. Turn on the Cruise Control – In addition to making a long drive more comfortable, your vehicle’s cruise control can actually improve your fuel efficiency. It’s estimated that using cruise control can actually improve your fuel efficiency by up to six percent in the highway. This can really add up for that long summer road trip.
  8. Keep Your Loads Light – Adding more weight to your vehicle will cause your car use more fuel. You’ll really notice this if you have heavy loads in your trunk. If you don’t need it, unpack it. Also, if you’re not using your roof rack you may want to remove it. A roof rack’s interference of aerodynamics can really take a hit on your fuel mileage. It’s estimated that a load of 100lbs in the trunk can decrease your fuel efficiency by one-to-two percent.
  9. Don’t Rev Your Engine – Revving your engine will cause your vehicle to burn more fuel. In addition, to costing you more gas, it’s really bad for your engine.
  10. Replace Your Oxygen Sensor – It’s important to have properly working oxygen sensor. This little part plays a huge role in how much fuel your vehicle burns. It’s worth keeping it running properly.
  11. Look Ahead – Watch the road ahead and plan when you’re braking and acceleration in advance. In addition, to saving gas money, you’ll also improve the lifetime of your brake pads. You can improve your fuel efficiency by up to 30 percent just by just using the pedals better.
  12. Don’t Rest Your Foot on The Brake – It’s a really common driving habit, but resting your left foot on the brake pedal will put ‘mechanical drag’ on your vehicle’s parts. Also, it will cause your vehicle to use more fuel.
  13. Use High Gears – Drive a stick? Your vehicle burns less fuel when it’s in high gear and the engine is operating without labour. Not driving properly with a manual transmission can eat up gas quickly and can quickly lead to future transmission issues.
  14. Check Your Suspension– A vehicle with a damaged suspension or chassis will use more fuel. Worn shocks, bent wheels, damaged springs and axles can also dramatically decrease your fuel efficiency. Have your service center check out these components at your next service appointment.
  15. Buy the Right Gas – Check your vehicle’s owner’s manual and make sure you know the right fuel to use on your vehicle. Some vehicles require higher octane fuel, while others do not. Obviously, higher octane fuel comes at a higher price; if your vehicle doesn’t need it than stick with regular more affordable fuel.
  16. Use the Right Oil – Again, your owner’s manual is a great resource for keeping your vehicle healthy. Be sure to use the correct engine oil in your vehicle. Thicker oil is harder for your vehicle to pump; therefore using the wrong oil can cause you to go through more fuel. Remember, a regular oil change is an essential part of keeping your vehicle running smooth for years to come.
  17. Limit Your Running Around – Driving around running errands is a part of life; unfortunately, it does a number on your gas tank. Try to plan ahead and map out your routes, try to do as much as possible in one trip. Remember, your car will use less gas if it’s already warm.
  18. Take the Highway – Sometimes it’s nice to take the scenic route, but it may be costing you money. It’s estimated that driving on gravel or dirt roads can use an additional 30 percent fuel. Rough roads cause your vehicle to move up and down, this takes away its forward momentum. This will cause you to use the gas pedal more.
  19. Keep it Steady – Try to drive at a consistent speed. Varying your speed is really bad for fuel efficiency.
  20. Pick the Right Trend – Owners of bigger vehicles should think about using a more fuel efficient tire trend. A more aggressive trend will cause your vehicle to use more fuel. It might be something to ask about when buying new all-season or winter tires.