Speed Demon or Mileage Maniac?
I'm the latter. Which one are you? How fast we drive can have a huge effect on the efficiency of our cars. It's possible to save alot by changing a few little habits. How much savings, you ask? Take for example my Toyota Corolla. It's rated at 26/36 mpg. When driving it hard it gets about 26-27 mpg. When driving easy it jumps up to 32-33mpg. At today's gas prices that makes a difference of about $230 per year. For you, those figures will be different depending on your car and how much you drive. Attached is a spreadsheet which you may use to calculate the savings found by becoming a Mileage Maniac! Also, here are a few tips to help you go a little farther on what's in your tank!
- Don't accelerate too quickly. Slow and steady wins the race. (That is, the race to keep more money in your pocket.)
- Drive at or below the speed limit. Try to get a 'feel' of how hard your car is working and layoff the gas a little if the engine revs way up. (It's ok if other people pass you.)
- Avoid Drive-thru windows. Sitting still with the engine running is simply a waste of gas. (I know, I know... it's VERY convenient if you have kids!)
- If you're going more than one place, plan your route before you leave so you don't have to back track.
As always, drive safely. The cost of purchasing another car or paying higher insurance premiums far outweighs any savings achieved from getting good gas mileage.
Perhaps another good tip is to get a more fuel efficient vehicle. This week my motorcycle fuel efficiency was 63 miles per gallon! However, I cheated a little. You see I live at the bottom of a steady grade so, if there's no other traffic, I'll turn the engine off and coast for almost a full mile!