Driving Factoids and Tips
- An estimated 32 million cars and trucks in the U.S. have at least two tires that are underinflated. If these were properly inflated, it would result in savings of nearly 560 million gallons of gas each year, which equates to more than $777 million. For an individual, that’s an estimated savings of 19 gallons, or $30 per year.
- Keep your engine tuned properly. Checking spark plugs, oxygen sensors, air filters, hoses and belts are a few examples of maintenance that can save a vehicle owner up to 165 gallons of gas per year, resulting in potential savings of $350.
- In highway driving, over 50% of the energy required to move your car down the road goes to overcoming aerodynamic dray (pushing air out of the way). As you drive faster, aerodynamic drag and rolling resistance increase. As a result, at speeds above 55 mph, fuel economy decreases rapidly. By driving 65 mph, instead of 70 mph, you’ll save gas. Of course it will take you longer to get to your destination, but for each extra hour you spend driving you’ll save $5.00.
- Overdrive gears improve the fuel economy of your car during highway driving. When you use overdrive gearing your car’s engine speed decreases.
- In city driving, nearly 50% of the energy needed to power your car goes to acceleration. Unnecessary braking wastes that energy.
- Avoid extreme acceleration except in emergency situations.
- If you anticipate traffic conditions ahead of you and don’t tailgate, you can avoid unnecessary braking and acceleration, and improve your fuel economy by 5-10%.
- Changing the engine oil regularly will help boost fuel economy and cut greenhouse gas emissions. Fresh oil does a better job of lubricating, cooling and protecting the engine against corrosion, which improves fuel economy and cuts emissions. Changing the oil also purges tiny bits of metal that can harm engine parts.
- A poorly maintained car will consume more fuel and produce 5 to 10 times more emissions than a car in proper running order.
- Natural gas and propane can be excellent alternatives to gasoline, especially for high-mileage vehicles. Natural gas and propane are available in many parts of the country, cost significantly less than gasoline and create fewer greenhouse gas emissions. Some manufacturers offer a limited number of models that are especially built to operate on these alternative fuels. In addition, existing gasoline vehicles can be converted.