Energy: Saving Energy - Driving and Car Maintenance

Sep 5th 2010 at 1:18 PM

Energy: Saving Energy - Driving and Car Maintenance

More than two-thirds of the total oil consumption of U.S. goes to transportation ñ mainly in the form of gasoline. An average American consumes 500 gallons of gas annually. And with the unpredictable cost of fuel and the growing concern for the environment, saving energy by becoming a better driver and keeping your car properly maintained becomes a must. Consider the following tips to increase fuel efficiency and therefore, save energy. 

Proper Driving

Lighten up. Remove unnecessary things from your car. Extra weight consumes fuel.

Avoid idling. Driving 0 miles per hour doesn't mean that you don't consume fuel. A car engine that is running consumes fuel whether it is moving or not. Do not waste fuel by idling to preheat your engine. Once you start your engine, drive.

Turn off your engine if you are stuck on traffic. This makes hybrid cars so fuel efficient. Hybrid cars automatically shut off its engine when at full stop, eliminating the fuel consumption caused by idling.

Park, turn off your engine and eat inside the restaurant instead of going to a drive thru.

If your vehicle has cruise control feature, turn it on. Cruise control helps you maintain a constant speed and save on gas.

Drive sensibly. Aggressive driving, abrupt acceleration, speeding and hard braking lower your fuel efficiency by as much as 33% in the highway and 5% in the city.

Avoid high speeds. Fuel efficiency drops when you drive more than 60 mph.

If you are driving a car with manual transmission, shift to the highest drivable gear. High gear at low speed requires less pressure on the gas pedal compared to low gear at high revolution.

Calculate your breaking distance. Do not accelerate if you know that you have to slow down or go into full stop right away. Excessive breaking is the result of excessive acceleration. Avoid them both.   Car air-conditioning system increases fuel consumption by as much as 15%. Turn it off whenever possible.  Avoid using the roof rack. Instead, utilize the space of your trunk or the back of your car. Items on your rack produce drag and reduce fuel economy by as much as 5%.  Maintain the manufacturer's recommended tire pressure.

If you can afford the cost, switch to hybrid cars. They have higher fuel economy than regular gasoline-engine vehicles. Also, hybrid cars have no- or low-emission rating which helps reduce carbon dioxide emission. Electric cars and other vehicles that run on alternative energy are better choices if you want to save on fuel and help the environment.

Fuel efficiency is maximized if the car is light, aerodynamic and has a small engine. So when you are considering buying a new car, you can take into account these 3 elements, which can be found on small cars and not on the gas-guzzling SUVs.

Car Maintenance

Replace or clean your air filters regularly. Clogged filters prevent air to enter the cylinder which results to poor car performance and more fuel consumption.

Keep your wheels properly aligned.

Subject your car to regular tune up, change oil and car maintenance checks to avoid fuel economy problems caused by dragging brakes, transmission problems, low transmission fluids or worn spark plug.

Try carpooling, telecommuting or public transit to reduce fuel consumption and maintenance cost.

Use the right type of oil for your car.

Saving energy begins at home and extends on the road. Make these things a habit to save cash, help the environment and extend the service of your car.


Nick Naggar,  Publisher

Roxy Publishing

Sustainable Renewable Energy

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Please to comment
Nov 24th 2010 at 9:14 AM by judyhwright
Hello from Montana, Excellent article and good points. I enjoy reading articles that have subheadlines. Makes it easier to read and understand. Good luck, jhw

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