For those of you who haven’t read my Car Share Blog, let me catch you up to speed: I love my car and the freedom it gives me! I realize it would be best to ditch my car and sign up for a car share program, take public transportation, or even ride my bike everywhere, but I am taking baby steps to greener transportation. For one, I’ve always been an avid carpooler. Another way I’m learning to drive a little greener is doing everything possible to conserve gas and increase my fuel mileage. I even found it saves me some green at the pump.
So how can we conserve gas? There are many small changes that can be made while driving that will help both the environment and our wallet. Grow already wrote about one: using cruise control.
Another way to save gas that I have experienced firsthand is to leave the pedal to the metal, gear jamming driving back in my teens where it belongs. The keys to my first car translated to being one step closer to becoming a racecar driver. But driving my car like I was trying to qualify for the Daytona 500 was not only bad for my gas tank, but it took a toll on my car maintenance. Since I’ve hung up my racing helmet and taken up short shifting (I drive a manual), I’ve noticed my gas mileage has gone up about three miles per gallon! Do some quick math and that’s 30 extra miles a tank for me! Imagine the possibilities of where you go with those extra 30 miles. Back to the gas pedal though, if you drive an automatic, simply ease onto the gas rather than standing up on the pedal.
The gas isn’t the only pedal you have to pay attention to when trying to conserve fuel and increas
e mpg; don’t forget your brake pedal. Braking too frequently is bad for your gas mileage because it wastes the energy and gas used in acceleration. I’m not trying to tell you to stop hitting your brakes, but there are times when you can coast to stop rather than stopping at the last minute.
Picture this: The clock has struck five and it is time to head home. You are stuck at the one light that is always red on your way home, and just as it turns green, the next light turns red. Instead of flooring it to the next light in hopes that it will drop green in the five seconds it will take you to get there, slowly accelerate to it and coast. The extra time it takes you to get to the light means less time standing and waiting for it to change, so less idling time. It also means that your acceleration has been put to good movement rather than pushing energy straight into your brake pads.
Speeding up to step on the brakes right away burns gas and brake pads, so anticipation is the key to ending wasteful acceleration.
What are some other ways you’ve found to conserve gas? Give us some tips in the comment section below!