Fuel efficiency – what it is and how to make our driving more fuel efficient

July 28, 2016
Juxhina Malaj

Practicing fuel-efficient driving will not only save you money in the long run but will also help protect the environment. For starters, how do you define fuel efficiency? According to businessdictionary.com, fuel efficiency is the “proportion of energy released by a fuel combustion process which is converted into useful work. For vehicles, it is measured in miles per gallon or kilometers per liter.”


So how can you make your driving more fuel efficient?

1- Drive less

We all have errands to run. But should we always rely on a car to get things done, especially when the distance we plan to travel is less than 3 miles? If you are committed to making your driving more fuel efficient, choose wisely, ask yourself if you really need to use a car or a bike will suffice. Maybe even walk to get your errands done: your waistline will be grateful too.


2- Become more organized

Plan out your trips in advance. Combine errands into one trip. Your fuel economy is worse when your car’s engine is cold. So multiple short trips from a cold start will use more fuel than one multipurpose trip that covers the same distance. Benefits of planning and combining trips are quite obvious: you use less fuel and save time.


3- Avoid extra weight and wind resistance

If you have enough loading space on your truck or inside your car, we encourage you to use that free space instead of the roof rack.  Large roof-top cargo carriers, for example, cause extra wind resistance and “fight back” your goal of making your driving more fuel efficient. If you can, remove any unnecessary heavy items from your car.


4- Maintain your car regularly

If you maintain your car regularly, you can make driving up to 50% more fuel efficient. By changing engine oil, regularly checking the tire pressure, and changing air filters you will make your vehicle more fuel efficient. Besides, looking after your car is also important for the safety and longevity of your ride.


5- Drive efficiently and avoid idling

Aggressive driving can affect your fuel economy. Just stick with the speed limit and do not go for rapid acceleration. Avoiding excessive idling is also highly recommended. Know you will be stopping somewhere for more than half a minute? You will be better off by turning the engine off. You can’t do that when you are in traffic. But remind yourself from time to time to not let your car idle for too long. Especially when it is not necessary. Here is an article I wrote some time ago on whether you should idle your car to warm it up.

Extra tips

Using cruise control whenever you can. Regularly check your tire pressure. Use your AC wisely, accelerating smoothly. Avoid driving during the rush hour. Find a good parking spot where you don’t expose your car to the sun. This will also help you make driving more fuel efficient.

Hope you found these tips helpful and you will start using most of them to not only make your driving more fuel efficient, but also save money, time, extend the life of your car, and of course, help protect the environment.  Do you have any other tips that we can use to improve fuel efficiency? If yes, do let us know in the comments below.

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