Tank for Your Buck: 6 Tips for Improving Fuel Economy

6 Tips for Improving Fuel Economy

You have made the best possible decision, money-wise, for your personal vehicle or commercial fleet. You’ve walked through the doors of one of our three AUTO ONE Group locations, to chat with our expert representatives, peruse our amazing inventory and lease a vehicle in Toronto Vancouver or Halifax. You have picked out your dream luxury car, or chosen your ideal fleet vehicles, and you’re driving off the lot for far less than you ever imagined.

But the money-saving doesn’t have to stop there. Some drivers tend to view their vehicle’s fuel consumption as consistent and predictable when in reality it is neither of those things. You can save money at the pumps by implementing a few easy changes to the way you drive.

And, before you say anything, we’re pre-empting the following argument: why not just lease a more fuel-efficient car? Yes, that’s a valid take for people who are actively searching for a new, personal vehicle lease, but it doesn’t apply to businesses and drivers mid-contract. Businesses looking for commercial fleet leasing don’t often have the luxury of choosing a fuel-efficient car; they need vans and trucks with towing capacity and cargo space.

So, for all you businesses out there looking to save a few bucks on fuel, and for all those drivers aiming to do the same, here are six tips for stretching your gas mileage and improving fuel economy.

Cut Down on Idling

We aren’t the first to tell you that idling is a waste of gas. Yet, when many people get stuck running a minute-long errand, either dropping off a package or nailing a lawn sign into a yard, they let their car run on idle. Perhaps it’s because there was – and still is – a persistent myth that restarting one’s car uses more fuel than idling. That’s not true.

Provided that you are stopping for more than 10 seconds, turning off the ignition and restarting your car is more fuel-economical than idling. Next time you stop for a minute or two, think about how much it saves you if you just turn that key a couple of times.

Ease Up on the Throttle and Brakes

Are you someone who likes to accelerate, even though you know full well there is a red light coming up in a half kilometre? Do calculatedly gun it in the merge lane to gain the most forward position possible, only to brake behind another car? All that acceleration and braking is not good on your brake pads, but it’s also not so fantastic on gas. This style of driving, often dubbed “aggressive driving” for its constant attempts to get ahead of traffic, has been shown to increase fuel consumption by up to 40%.

Follow the flow of traffic, let your car coast and decelerate naturally when coming up to a stop (if possible), and merge or pass with a subtle, smooth acceleration.

Leave Unnecessary Weight Behind

Have you got all that band gear – the amps, bass guitar and cords – sitting in your trunk since the last time your band practiced, in 2007? Is your fleet vehicle stuffed with inventory you aren’t selling and equipment you aren’t using? Perhaps now might be the time to reconsider the weight your vehicle is carrying, and the effect that it has on fuel consumption.

Increased weight of any kind puts more stress on the engine, which in turn causes it to burn more fuel per kilometre. Understandably, reducing weight isn’t an option for some businesses whose livelihood involves shipping, transporting and/or towing heavy items, but it nevertheless pays to be mindful.

Feed It What It Needs

You wouldn’t feed a dog a whole pizza, nor would you give a human a bag of dog treats. Different beasts have different dietary requirements they need to be met in order to stay in peak condition. Likewise, you should fuel your car with the type of gas it is supposed to get.

Let’s get one thing straight, however: this doesn’t necessarily mean that you need to get Premium, or V-Power or Super Unleaded… It just means that you should use a fuel that is the same or above the minimum octane rating as listed in the vehicle’s owners manual. This will guarantee that the car is working optimally. Whether you want to manage your business fleet or simply keep your commuter car in good shape, understanding its fuel requirements is an important part.

Keep Your Tires Pumped

There is a tip circulating the internet that if you over-inflate your tires, past the manufacturer’s recommendation, you can improve your fuel efficiency. That has been thoroughly debunked. It is true, however, that underinflated tires contribute negatively to fuel economy, as when your tires are low on air. Per every 1-PSI dip in pressure, gas mileage is lowered by 0.4 percent, which certainly adds up.

It happens because of increased rolling resistance, which, again, puts extra strain on the motor and guzzles fuel. It’s an inefficiency your wallet will feel over time, so it’s best to read up on how to keep your tires at their recommended pressure.

If Possible, Steer Clear of Traffic Jams

We understand this is easier said than done. We could tell you to avoid peak hours, but for many drivers of commercial vehicles, as well as commuters, that is a luxury they can’t afford. Apps like Waze, despite not always being reliable, can help you avoid congested routes, which in turn will help you save on gas. Idling in traffic burns up more fuel than if you were to take a slightly more circuitous route that involves more steady-state cruising. And besides, it’s much less annoying.

Don’t give more money than you absolutely have to at the pumps. After saving money with an AUTO ONE Group vehicle lease, save even more by following these six easy tips. And if you’re interested in switching over to more fuel-economical vehicle – either for yourself or your business – contact us and we’ll be happy to make that happen!

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