Drive Smarter to Save Money and CO2 Emissions

Summer is fast approaching, and if you’re looking for ways to save money aside from improving your home’s energy efficiency, you should consider taking a few steps to drive more efficiently.  The EPA offers some simple tips that will help your car cut back on gas consumption.  Not only will you save money – you’ll also save countless pounds of carbon dioxide emissions.

Take it easy—Slamming on the breaks and then accelerating too fast is a waste of gas and can also be unsafe.  To improve your gas mileage, be gentle on the gas pedal and break more gently.

Slow Down—Your car gets its best gas mileage at 50-55 miles per hour.  For each 5 mph you go over 60 mph is like paying an additional $0.31 per gallon of gas.

Don’t Idle—Idle as little as possible, and consider shutting down your vehicle if stopped for more than 7 seconds.   Idling can use a quarter to a half gallon of fuel per hour.  Try checking online for traffic conditions before you leave work to avoid idling in gridlock if you can.

Pump up Your Tires— Improve your gas mileage by up to 3% by keeping your tires inflated to the proper pressure. Driving with under-inflated tires will hurt your fuel economy and may increase the wear and tear of the rubber.  The proper tire pressure for your car can be found on a sticker in the driver’s side door, or in the owner’s manual.  Invest in a tire pressure gauge and use it regularly.

Remove Excess Weight—The more weight in your car, the more fuel you use.  An extra 100 pounds in your car could reduce your efficiency by up to 2%. Remove any unnecessary items in your vehicle and trunk, especially before long trips.

Get check-ups—A healthy car is an efficient car. Make sure to take your car in for inspections and oil changes on a regular basis.  Check with the manufacturer to determine what type of oil is best for your model.

For more tips on improving your fuel economy, visit www.fueleconomy.gov.