But whether you choose to run on fumes or top up every couple kilometres, there are ways you can stretch your gas budget longer. An added bonus? Fuel efficient driving is also safer.
So before you set out on your next auto adventure, keep these fuel-saving tips in the back of your mind:
1) Clean out your car
Believe it or not, everything, from miscellaneous bags to haphazard sports equipment, can add additional weight to your car ranging from tens to hundreds of pounds. This extra weight means your car’s engine has to work harder and burn more fuel to maintain velocity. If you don’t use it, lose it.
2) Remove those roof racks
Unused roof racks or roof rack storage bins do two things to slow down your car: they add weight to your car and they ruin the precise engineered streamline contour of your car. Unless you are going skiing every weekend or need every square inch of your car’s interior, remove any rooftop hardware from your car.
3) Go in for a tune-up
Since most of today’s cars are carefully designed to conserve fuel, you want to make sure they are working properly before hitting the road. Bringing a car in for a tune-up means things like air filters or even the type of oil used can be inspected and replaced if needed. Worn out, under-inflated or misaligned tires can also be detrimental to your vehicle’s fuel efficiency.
4) Accelerate & brake properly
Revving up, braking and putting the pedal to the floor are all ways to rapidly deplete a car’s fuel reserves. If you find yourself doing one or all of these actions, it could mean your driving habits need a little updating.
Rapid acceleration: floods your engine with fuel to help bring your car up to a desired speed as fast as possible. Although a slow acceleration can likewise burn significant amounts of fuel, try hitting the sweet spot between burning rubber and holding up traffic.
Braking: If you find yourself hitting the brakes at every intersection, it could be an indicator that you are driving too fast. If you are driving efficiently, a slow coast should be all you need to slow down.
5) Maintain the right speed
Once you reach a comfortable speed, try to maintain that speed. Although this may be difficult in an urban environment, constant speeding up and slowing down takes an incredible toll on your gas tank. If you are driving on a highway, use cruise control to ensure you are not changing speeds.
6) Avoid idling
While some idling is unavoidable, if you find yourself idling for more than a minute, switch off your car and wait for traffic to resume. Although fuel is required to start your car up again, idling for an extended period of time is just wasting fuel.
7) Plan your route
The number one way to save on fuel is to plan your route ahead of time. Before you set out to your destination, check the time of your departure, consider shortcuts and check traffic reports.
Still looking to save more on gas? Check out our guide to buying a fuel efficient vehicle.