No one likes paying more for gas than they have to, so why should you settle with wasting more than is necessary? We at Capital Motor Cars would like to offer some advice on how to maintain fuel efficiency, especially while driving in the winter.
First of all, driving aggressively can cost you money. The U.S. Department of Energy says that accelerating too quickly and then braking can reduce your fuel economy benefit by an average of 5% in towns—but that percentage can grow as high as 33% on highways. Going slower on freeways can also boost your efficiency. For every five mph you go over 50, you cost yourself an estimated $.16 per gallon.
Planning out trips/combining them is another easy way to improved gas mileage. When you start your car with the engine still warm from your last drive, your gas mileage increases, therefore doing several errands in the same afternoon is preferable to a number of drives. By planning, you can also ensure that you take the shortest distance possible.
Lastly, in preparation for late fall and winter, be mindful that cold weather can reduce your fuel efficiency. An average car’s fuel economy, says the U.S. Department of Energy, would be about 12% lower at 20°F when compared to the high seventies, but that could drop even further if you take a lot of short trips. While you can’t completely get around this, parking your car in a slightly warmer spot, like a garage, means it won’t be as cold in the morning, and therefore be more efficient. But you don’t want to spend too much time letting your engine warm up: that wastes even more gas. Instead, letting your car sit for 30 or so seconds is enough. After that, it becomes more efficient to let it finish heating up while you drive.
For more advice on your vehicle, check back with the Capital Motor Cars blog each week. Our tips are as good as our amazing white-glove service.