Sunday, June 13, 2010
In March 2004 we were leaving for a 5 week road trip thru the Southwest. And I was in a huff because gas prices had just jumped up to the outrageous price of $1.67 for regular. It had been running around $1.60. Six years later I paid $2.87. And I’ve paid $4 a gallon during a time of shortage a couple years ago.
Since “Little Red” is a 4 wheel drive, his gas mileage isn’t as good as it could be. So it’s time to start finding ways to curb his appetite.
First way to help fuel economy is to clean out the junk. It takes energy to haul around excess baggage. So I am decluttering him. Make it easier to find what I need too!
Remember the old days of 55 mph speed limits? A government web site shows that driving slower saves fuel. Going 60 miles an hour instead of 70 mph will take you only 14 minutes longer per 100 miles. Leave earlier…save gas!
Then use cruise control to maintain that speed!
We have probably all heard to keep our tires properly inflated and aligned will increase your fuel economy by 3%. But did you know that using a different grade motor oil than is recommended can decrease your mileage by 1-2%? And replacing a dirty air filter can improve your mileage up to 10%? These are all things I have checked when I have my oil changed at the Shell Center. So that’s something I’ve been doing right!
Idling. Everything I’ve come across say you don’t need to let a car idle any more than 30 seconds and the best way to warm up a car is to drive it. A mechanic told me it is very hard on your transmission to idle for extended times. And as one pointed out…you get 0 mpg when you idle.
Living out here in “the sticks” it is a necessity to consolidate trips to town…we are 15 miles from the nearest large store. I make a list of where I need to go and what I need to get. But you don’t have to live in the country to use this method to save fuel. Besides, it saves you a big chunk of time when you are not running back and forth!
If you have a truck, it will increase you mileage if you have a cover on the bed to stop the drag caused by wind hitting the tailgate. (We have a shell on our truck).
I was surprised to find out that tests by Edmunds didn’t not find an increase of fuel mileage when you turn off the AC. Their advice… stay comfortable.
I have the mpg that Little Red is using now. I’m going to put these tips to use and see if there is an improvement for me. Stay tuned for the results!