Driving Habits That Affect Your Fuel Economy

driving habits that affect your fuel economy

Driving Habits That Affect Your Car’s Fuel Economy

With gas prices going through the roof these days, you might be more aware of your gas mileage. Certain driving habits and conditions that come with aggressive driving impair miles per gallon (MPG). Driving habits affect fuel economy. By driving appropriately, you can save by some pretty impressive percentages.

According to the U.S. Department of Energy, aggressive driving can lower your gas mileage by 15% to 30% at highway driving speeds and 10% to 40% in stop-and-go traffic. Here are some driving habits affect fuel economy.

1. Don’t drive aggressively. Aggressive driving includes driving too fast, accelerating rapidly and breaking hard.

2. Frequent short trips and cold weather reduces fuel economy. It takes engines longer to warm up in the cold and on short trips you’re not driving enough at the desired temperature.

3. Don’t idle your car to warm up. Though it may seem like the sensible thing to do (especially considering number 2 above!), Idling uses more fuel and pollutes more.

4. Slow down. Aerodynamic drag increases at higher speeds, which means you’ll use more fuel. Tests s how that for every 5 mph you drive above 50 mph is similar to paying $0.20 more per gallon for gas.

5. Avoid carrying cargo or putting a cargo rack on top of your car. Carrying a load on the roof of your car increase aerodynamic drag, which lowers fuel efficiency.

6. Having excessive weight in your car or towing a trailer also decreases fuel economy.

7. Driving on steep terrain or unpaved roads can hinder fuel economy.

8. Be aware that electrical accessories like an air conditioner can use up more fuel. The U.S. Department of Energy reports that driving with your air conditioner as high as it will go can result in reduced MPG by about 5% to 25%.

9. When you drive using 4-wheel drive your car eats up more gas. Driving in 2-wheel drive can reduce fuel economy.

10. Use cruise control when driving on a highway and it can save gas.

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