5 Driving Tips to Save Gas and Improve Your Fuel Economy

Published: October 31, 2018 | Updated: July 29, 2020 | Posted by: Moneymax | Personal Finance

Driving Tips to Save Gas | MoneyMax.ph

Any news about fuel price hikes is nothing new to Filipinos anymore. More than ever, each drop of fuel has become so precious that wasting it is a big no-no.

Nothing much we can do about the soaring fuel prices. We can only hope that the government would consider suspending the fuel excise tax, which is often blamed lately for the fuel price increases. For now, all car owners can do is to save gas in every way possible.

How to save on gas and keep your fuel expenses low? It’s all about changing your driving habits that waste fuel. Check out these driving tips to increase your fuel economy.

Driving Tip #1: Avoid Hard Braking

Driving Tips to Save Gas | MoneyMax.ph
Braking hard as you approach a red light is less energy-efficient than coasting, raising your fuel consumption by as much as 40%. Not only does hard braking consumes more gas; it also causes premature damage to the brake pads, discs, and rotors (which means spending more often to have your brakes fixed).

Be aware of the cars in front of you. If you see them slowing down, anticipate that the traffic light will soon turn red, or that something ahead causes the traffic to slow down. Ease up on the accelerator pedal, and keep a good distance from the car in front of you to avoid using the brake as much as possible.

Remember, when you release the gas pedal, your car will retain some momentum until it eventually rolls to a stop. Keep a light foot—it helps conserve fuel by up to 37%[1].

Driving Tip #2: Switch Off Instead of Idling

Driving Tips to Save Gas | MoneyMax.ph
If you’ve stopped for 20 seconds or longer, turn off the ignition. Idling consumes gas[2], so if you anticipate that you’re in for a long wait in traffic, it’s better to turn off your engine.

An Edmunds.com test found that avoiding excessive idling can save gas by as much as 19%.

Also, turn off your car’s aircon to consume less fuel. You can use your car’s flow-through ventilation system in the meantime if you don’t want to open your windows.

Driving Tip #3: Choose a Route With a Better Traffic Flow

Driving Tips to Save Gas | MoneyMax.ph
Constant braking and acceleration consume more fuel than when the drive is smoother and faster. So find a route with a smoother traffic flow to your destination (that’s what Waze, Google Maps, and other driving apps are for!). It could be longer, but reducing the times you step on the brake and gas pedals helps you save gas.

If you have to run several errands in a day, plan your itinerary carefully to reduce the distance you have to drive. Do all your errands in one continuous trip rather than in a circuitous route.

Read more: Here’s How You Can Beat Traffic in Metro Manila

Driving Tip #4: Keep a Proper Tire Pressure

Driving Tips to Save Gas | MoneyMax.ph
Uneven tire pressure increases your car’s rolling resistance and eventually, its fuel consumption. Check your tires at least once a week to ensure they’re inflated properly. Consider investing in your own tire pressure gauge, too.

What is the right air pressure for your tires? Consult your owner’s manual for the manufacturer’s recommendation. For example, the correct tire pressure for most passenger cars is from 32 psi to 35 psi.

Proper tire inflation[3] not only reduces your fuel expenses but also makes your tires and suspension system last longer. The front tires support your car’s steering, so do a tire rotation every 10,000 kilometers across your front tires and your back tires to prevent uneven wear.

Driving Tip #5: Use the Right Fuel Type

Driving Tips to Save Gas | MoneyMax.ph
Check your owner’s manual for the best fuel type to use[4]. Fuels, especially petrol or gasoline, have an octane rating, which indicates resistance against premature ignition.

Avoiding gassing up with fuel that has a lower octane rating than what the manufacturer recommends for your car. For most modern cars, the unleaded type is usually recommended, though older vehicles work best with premium fuel (Mind you, all gasoline locally sold is now lead-free).

A lower octane rating doesn’t necessarily mean the best fuel efficiency. Sometimes, your car will be more fuel-efficient if it has better power and torque—something that a premium fuel type or high-octane fuel[5] can deliver. This is especially important if you always travel with a full load, such as with your family, workmates, or fellow carpoolers.

Final Thoughts

Changing your driving habits can help you improve your fuel economy, save gas, and stretch your budget. Keep these driving tips in mind as you cruise along the highway. Conserving fuel is all about managing your resources, planning your route, and being familiar with your vehicle. You may also consider buying check fuel-efficient cars when deciding to get a new vehicle.
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