Friday, December 23, 2005

Fuel Economy: Saving Money On Gas

Notice how gasoline prices are creeping up again? Don't be surprised. I think the "new normal" is all about gas prices swinging wildly.

Here's a Toyota white paper on how to get the best fuel economy. There were a few things I didn't know -- like how tire pressure matters.
1. Regularly check and maintain proper tire pressure.
• Low tire pressure can reduce fuel economy significantly.

2. Plan ahead; try to combine several short trips in order to
minimize cold engine starts.
• Numerous short trips will reduce any vehicle’s fuel economy.
Every time a vehicle is started cold, it uses more fuel while
warming up.

3. Accelerate at a moderate pace. Monitor the flow of traffic
to plan your moves well ahead. (This habit not only enhances
fuel economy, it also increases your margin of safety and
reduces wear and tear on your vehicle.)
• Rapid acceleration and heavy braking can also lower fuel economy for all vehicles.

4. Monitor your highway speed.
• Fuel economy suffers at speeds higher than about 55 mph and
drops significantly above 70 mph.

5. Don’t carry unnecessary loads.
• Additional weight can decrease fuel economy.

6. Use the air conditioning and defroster only as needed.
• The air conditioner and defogger (which automatically turns the air conditioner on in many new vehicles) use additional energy and decrease fuel economy.