Fuel Efficiency 101: Ways You Are Unknowingly Wasting Gas

Breaking lousy driving habits may be a challenge. 

However, you have to take into account that with the ever-increasing gas prices, the money you lose in fuel expenses could wind up breaking your bank. We are constantly worrying about erratic fuel prices, and yet, most drivers have not taken proactive measures to address this. The majority of drivers have maintained their bad driving habits and can be seen cruising around as if gas prices were at an all-time low. 

The biggest problem here might be that drivers are unaware of what these bad habits are. More importantly, these drivers may not know that these very same habits contribute to significantly reduced fuel efficiency. And, unknowingly, you might be one of them. To keep your driving habits in check, take a look at the six ways drivers typically waste gas on trips below: 

1.) Racing up to red lights 

Drivers tend to lay off the gas pedal later rather than sooner when they see a red light or stop sign up ahead. There is no point in leaving your foot on the gas pedal until just before you reach the intersection. Instead, let off the gas pedal sooner as this gives your engine time to rest as you coast to a stop. Also, break gently. Apart from giving you more gas mileage, your brake pads will last longer, too, as an added benefit. 

2.) Racing away from green lights 

Another bad habit among drivers is taking off as quickly as possible the moment the traffic lights turn green. Keep in mind, however, that the gas pedal is called the “gas pedal” for a reason. Pressing down on it more means that you are pumping more gas into the engine. Instead, press the gas pedal slightly. The vehicle will still accelerate, and you can still get to where you wish to go. You do not need to apply so much pressure just to get your car to speed up—even just a little pressure would already do. 

According to tests conducted by an automotive information website, the two tips above can already improve fuel economy with city driving by as much as 35 percent by themselves. 

3.) Confusing highways with speedways 

Speeding wastes gas—even if you do not accelerate hard and fast. As it is, the faster you go, the more air your car has to push out of the way. It is similar to how you would move your hand through the water. Moving your hand faster makes the water push back harder. That said, a car that drives 75 miles per hour has reduced fuel economy between 3 and 5 miles per gallon compared to a car that drives 65 miles per hour, depending on the vehicle used. 

4.) Bumper-buzzing 

Another notorious bad driving habit common among many drivers is tailgating. By itself, tailgating is already a bad move considering that it is unsafe. Tailgating reduces your ability to reach if the car in front of you suddenly slows down or stops altogether. Moreover, it also means that you have to pay close attention to the car in front of you, which significantly reduces your ability to scan for other hazards ahead of you and on the sides. 

Tailgating also wastes gas as each time the driver ahead of you taps on his brakes; you have to slow down even MORE than he did. This is because you did not give yourself enough space to react immediately, so you have to slow down even more. Then you would need to accelerate again to get back up to speed and begin bumper-buzzing again. 

All that considered, hang back, and you will be much safer. Apart from that, you will be driving smoother and use less fuel. As a rule of thumb, a good distance is one car apart from the car ahead of you. Alternatively, you can allow for two seconds of space between your car and the one ahead. 

5.) Short trips 

Do not take your car out every opportunity you can. Instead, take advantage of the opportunity to get some exercise for short trips. Alternatively, you may want to take advantage of public transportation. In this way, you can save gas and maybe burn a few calories. 

Similarly, you may want to save up your errands and do them in a single day and trip. A series of short trips that let the engine cool down at home in between trips use twice as much gas as starting the car once and just sweeping to all of your stops. While many may find this counterintuitive, go to your farthest destination first so that your engine has a chance to reach its optimal operating temperature. Make all the other stops on your way back. In this way, your engine is warmed up, and your car can restart easily and run efficiently on the way back home. 

Previous Post
Next Post

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *