A Few Unconventional Ways to Reduce Gas Consumption

Summer is the time of the year when fuel price go crazy. This year even the winter saw very cost of gasoline. With China and Indian economy expanding there’s more than ever demand for gas. The price can only go up, may be with little ease at times due to other economical factors. But, in the long term it will only go up and thus we need to adjust fuel need and usage to keep gas cost low.

Related Post : 10 Tips to save on Gas

Besides comparison shopping, driving less, carpooling or availing public transportation, there are various other little tweaks that can help keep the fuel consumption low.

Some unconventional ways to make your car fuel-efficient

First and foremost is to reduce weight of your car. you can achieve this by removing items that you don’t actually need all the time. These things are non-essential items that add to the weight of the vehicle.

Is your car fitted with a roof top rack or a tow-bar that you rarely use? Both these accessories add weight and increase drag. Maybe you are still carrying sandbag in the trunk at this time of the year, this is not winter anymore you can get rid of it. Do you carry sports equipment all the time in your car? Especially golf kit is a heavy item. Is it that looking at your minivan one gets the feeling that you’re moving?

Reduce artificial add-on weight on your car to get better fuel economy. Lesser energy required to move a lighter vehicle.

Another unconventional way to reduce car weight is by reducing weight of the fuel. Unless you commute long distance or you are on road all the time for work, you may not fill in the full tank.

A gallon of gas weighs 6 lbs. If your gas tank takes in 14 gallon, then by filling the tank to half shall result in reduction of 42 lbs of weight of your car. This will result in a small but measurable improvement in fuel consumption.

Apart from the energy needed by the engine to move your vehicle, the largest energy sucker is your A/C system. Experts say that A/C system takes 5 -15% of energy in a moving car with A/C on.

You can reduce A/C unit’s energy consumption by making a few simple and easy adjustments.

  • Minor tweak to seal your AC compressor pipe (as they are generally lie close to hot engine) can improve A/C performance a few notch. Here is the complete technique. If you can’t do it, ask your mechanic to do it for you.
  • I generally don’t use Ac in the morning and evening while driving through the city roads. I keep the windows down  and let outside air cool our car. Your place might not have this luxury, places like Arizona, Nevada, etc. But most of continental United States does. I don’t do it on highways as the air drag can actually require more energy to move the vehicle.
  • In summer park your under shade. Before you get on the car, open all windows and sun roof. This will prevent your car from being heated up before you start your journey.
  • If you can’t avoid parking under the shade, try to keep some opening on at least two of the windows for letting air to circulate, inside hot air would disperse through the opening, it’s the law of physics.
  • Apply windshield shade, it has two simultaneous benefits – it cools your car while stopping passers-by and would-be criminals from peeking inside your vehicle for valuables. windshield shade helps to lower the surface temperature of the steering wheel and seats; if you have leather seats, you will particularly notice the benefit.
  • Consider having your side windows tinted to decrease the greenhouse effect and hence the need for extra cooling.
  • Change air filters regularly.
  • in summer dress up lightly, carry water, you will feel less need of cold air. Similarly during winter months wear heavy clothes and your body will remain warm up.
  • Turning on inside air circulation takes less time to cool inside air rather than letting outside air to flow in.
  • Adjust the A/C outlets depending on occupants in your car, if you are driving alone, there’s no need to let the passenger side outlets to remain open. Similarly if no one is sitting at the back, why should the rear A/C outlets be open?
  • Last but not the least, ask your dealer or mechanic for minor adjustment to increase A/C performance. They usually know a few specific adjustment for your model of the car. The might have done that with other cars of same model. Absolutely no harm in asking them anyway.

Minor adjustment to your driving habit can bring some fuel economy

By combining separate trips to the same part of town into a single trip you can save on gas. You can carpool for your shopping trips with neighbors as well. Organize something within your neighborhood – weekly grocery store trip, weekly eating out, etc. Take a single car instead of going on your individual cars.

Adjust your highway speed, don’t go too fats or too slow. My car has a gas meter on it, I have seen going steady on cruise control at 60 mph consumes least gas, compared to a 50 mph or 70 mph.

Lastly, are you still driving on snow tires? If you are, you should switch to regular tires now. snow tires usually requires more energy to move.

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  1. says

    Some good ideas to keep that extra few cents worth of gas. Also, about every 3rd or 4th tank, use a good quality injector cleaner or gas additive to keep engine running more clean and efficient. It really does not cost much, but can make a great return-Mine truck increased by more than 4MPG, giving me another 80 miles per tank!

    Good post.

  2. says

    I noticed just how much driving the speed limit does save gas – plus highway driving – but when I was driving in the States I didn’t want to speed at all for obvious reasons, so I went the speed limit the whole way to/from Oregon. I got an extra 180 KM to my tank than I normally would!

  3. says

    The driving habit advice isn’t lost on me. Ever since I’ve moved to a small town I found I go out more often because it’s so easy to just go again. I need to get back into the list-making habit….

  4. Kelly@Financial lessons says

    I never even thought about the fact of the weight of a full tank of gas would weigh you down, but it makes sense. Keeping your gas tank half full (or less) will reduce your car weight even the slightest amount which can help. Anything to reduce weight and resistance on a car can help save money for fuel; making sure tire pressure is full is another key to remember. Tires that are low in air will be more resistant to rotating efficiently, slowing you down while your car is still working hard.

  5. says

    I save a lot of gas by just keeping the gas pedal steady. My commute is all surface streets and I try to stay just under the speed limit so I stop less.

  6. Payment Protection Insurance says

    Great tips! I have saved a lot on my gas consumption by carpooling to work with office mates. I will give the other tips a try. Thanks!

  7. PB @ EconomicallyHumble.com says

    Not a bad list… I am saving about $1000 a year on fuel and insurance because I sold my car and ride a bike. Of course my wife still has her car, which helps when it comes time to run large errands that don’t fit in a backpack. Where we live, it easily gets over 100F in the summer and the best way to save on cooling costs is to run errands early in the morning.

  8. says

    I think some easy big items to save on fuel economy is to accelerate slower and coast to a stop rather than braking at the last minute when you see a red light ahead. Both should help a ton!

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