Fuel-Efficient Vehicle Best Practices

By
Dave Nichols
Updated:
Sep 2022
Time to read:
4
min
Looking for ways to improve your fuel economy and performance? If you're driving a fuel-efficient vehicle, here are some best-practice guidelines for getting the most out of your new ride and maximizing your efficiency.
Lady wearing sunglasses and weaved had looking out of car window

How to Improve Fuel Economy and Performance

A best practice can be described as a standard or set of guidelines that produces good outcomes if followed. In using best practices in relation to a fuel-efficient gasoline-powered car or an all-electric, hybrid, or plug-in hybrid vehicle, we’re talking about common sense guidelines and tips that will help you improve fuel economy and optimize performance for your mode of transportation.

Read the Owner’s Manual

Before you do anything else, read the Owner’s Manual for your car from cover to cover. The automaker has gone to great lengths to explain in detail every aspect of your new car. The manufacturer has put forth standards for the maintenance of your vehicle. You’ll find out how to operate and maintain your ride, how to maximize fuel economy, driving range, and if you have a hybrid or plug-in hybrid, the battery life. The best way to get to know your new car is to read all about it in the Owner’s Manual.

Utilize Eco Mode

Many fuel-efficient cars today come with “economy mode” that allows you to improve fuel economy just by pressing the Eco Mode button. Using Eco Mode may limit vehicle performance in order to save fuel. This mode fine-tunes the fuel and air mixture to optimize fuel economy.

Be Gentle

Fuel-efficient driving can save you big dough at the gas pump. You’ll also prevent wear of your vehicle and help improve road safety. By following these fuel-efficient tips, you can save 25 percent on fuel.

The harder you accelerate the more fuel you use. Makes sense, right? Ease into the accelerator for smooth, gas-saving travel. Once up to speed, maintain a steady speed. When you speed up and slow down quickly, you use more fuel. Just by driving at a steady speed you can save up to 20 percent on gas. Use cruise control when on the highway.

Anticipate Traffic Ahead

Always look far ahead to see what traffic conditions are coming up. Imagine what vehicles ahead of you could possibly do to anticipate any eventuality. It’s a safer way to drive and you’ll save fuel. Be sure to keep a safe distance between you and all other traffic.

Slow Down

Most vehicles are at optimal fuel-efficiency when they are cruising at about 50 miles per hour. Above that speed, you use more fuel. In fact, you use more fuel the faster you go. Keep it cool and save up to 20 percent of your gas. At 75 miles per hour, you use 20 percent more gas than when you are driving at a steady 65 mph.

Another way to be more fuel-efficient is to coast when you decelerate. Using your brakes wastes forward momentum. Conserve fuel by taking your foot off the accelerator and coast to slow down.

Idle Less

If you are stopped and your car is idling for more than 60 seconds, you are wasting fuel. Any time you are at an idle for more than a minute, turn your engine off to conserve gas. You waste over a cup of fuel every time you idle for ten minutes.

Track Your Consumption

Some fuel-efficient cars let you track your fuel consumption. How long can you go before you fill up? Challenge yourself to fill up fewer times in a month and watch your monthly fuel bill come down. Many drivers find that they can conserve 15 percent on gasoline by acting on the feedback they get from fuel consumption displays.

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