With personal expenses being higher during the Holiday season, ‘tis the season to be more efficient than ever while driving to avoid wasting Holiday cheer at the gas pump. So in the spirit of savings, we would like to offer a few tidbits that will keep more money in your pocket during the Holidays (and all year long if you wanted to).
1. Say no to drive-through lanes.
It is estimated that leaving your car idling for 15 minutes can burn a quarter of a gallon. This may not seem like much, but all those trips through drive-through windows can add up over the month.
2. Drive smoothly.
We all have been guilty of this at some point, but probably the biggest thing ruining your fuel-efficiency is aggressive driving. By shooting off on a green-light to beat the truck next to you, you are burning gas a lot faster. By driving smoother, you can increase your vehicle’s efficiency by up 20 percent.
3. 70 is a magic number.
Going 80mph instead of 70mph on the highway might get to the Holiday party five minutes faster, but is that five minutes worth sacrificing potentially four miles per gallon on the highway? (Secret: cruise control)
4. Windows down, music up? Not so much.
Driving on the highway with the windows down might feel good, but the air pressure slows down your car making it consume much more energy than needed.
5. Tire pressure and flying flags.
As we’ve mentioned in past blog posts, proper tires pressure is central in maintaining fuel-economy since under pressure tires make the engine work harder. Also, avoid with all your might hanging flags and antenna decorations on your car, doing so impacts your vehicle’s aerodynamics and decrease efficiency.
6. Run errands at once.
Try to run errands in one trip. It has been said that an engine that is at optimal operating temperature can be up to 50 percent more efficient than a “cold” engine.
7. Get rid of that junk in the trunk
The EPA estimates that fuel economy reduces by 2 percent for every 100 pounds of weight carried in your car.
Following a few of these steps may help you keep extra dollars in your pocket for that gift you want to get yourself (for being such a good driver). If you can swallow your pride and let the truck cruise by, you might start making big gains at the gas pump.