Now that a tank of gas costs as much as a meal out (a fancy, romantic one if you drive an SUV), it’s worthwhile saving every nickel you can — and that doesn’t necessarily mean leaving your ride in the garage.
1. Properly inflating your tires can save you 3.3 per cent in fuel costs. Look for the manufacturer’s recommended air pressure in your owner’s manual, and check your pressure once a month.
2. Buy tires with a low rolling resistance (LRR). Elizabeth Lewis, manager of community and corporate relations for Bridgestone Americas, Inc., says Bridgestone’s fuel-efficiency tires, for example, can save enough at the pump to pay for themselves in four years.
3. Slow down. Driving 120 km/h rather than 100 km/h burns approximately 12 per cent more fuel.
4. Drive smoothly. Your car burns the most fuel while accelerating, so tramping on the gas and stamping on the brake between every traffic light wastes a lot.
5. Check your air filter regularly and clean or replace it when it’s dirty.
6. Go easy on the air conditioner, which can eat up to 10 per cent of your fuel when running. Try to park in the shade, use a windshield reflector when you’re not driving and drive for the first few minutes with your windows down to give your A/C some help.
7. Don’t lug a lot. The more weight you carry, the more gas you use. Don’t use your trunk as a mobile storeroom for tools, sports equipment or camping gear.