With fuel prices headed up again, the thousands of crossover and SUV buyers are now turning to fuel saving techniques to try and save a little money on their vehicle.
Use the manufacturer’s suggested fuel octane. Most vehicles only require 82 octane. Using 87 or 91 octane in these vehicles doesn’t help your engine or gas milage in any way. At the other end of the spectrum, if your vehicle requires higher octane gas and you switch to lower octane, you’ll see a dip in performance and fuel milage. Bottom line, follow the recommendations of the manufacturer and you could save around $5.00 per tank.
Don’t let the vehicle idle in the driveway to “warm up”. Unless your vehicle is older than the internet, it’s actually more efficient to just start the vehicle and get moving. Idling for two minutes will get your vehicle up to operating temperature most of the time, but so will driving down the road for 30 seconds, and doing so will not harm the vehicle.
Drive at a consistent speed. Picking a speed while traveling on a highway is much more efficient than jumping between lanes and constantly accelerating/decelerating. Pick a lane, pick a speed you’re comfortable with, and stay there. You’ll see an immediate increase in fuel economy.
Maintenance is key. Changing your oil at the regularly scheduled intervals, keep your tires to the proper pressures, opt into the induction cleaning service, find a mechanic you trust and keep the vehicle fluids fresh. All these practices reduce friction in the engine and on the vehicle’s components. Friction is the enemy of efficiency.
Keep a record of your fill ups. None of this matters if you don’t know what’s working and what isn’t. When you fill your car or truck up at the gas station, take a quick note in your smart phone or on a pad of paper you keep in your car. The numbers you’re looking for are the total gallons filled (found on the gas pump) and the trip tracker (under the speedometer). Fill the car until the pump shuts itself off. Reset the trip tracker at every fill up. Some quick math (formula below) can tell you the miles per gallon you achieved on this tank of gas, or just give those numbers to your mechanic and they’ll let you know how your new habits are benefiting your vehicle.
Miles Traveled Gallons of Fuel Purchased (to the decimal)= MPG
342.5 mile trip divided by 10.424 gallons purchased = 32.8 Miles Per Gallon
250 mile trip divided by 8.753 gallons purchased = 28.5 Miles Per Gallon