Here are 10 easy-to-follow steps to increase your fuel economy. When you've mastered these, grasshopper, you'll be ready for the master's course in hyper-mileage.
1. Don’t speed.
Driving 65 mph instead of 75 mph will increase your fuel economy by about 10 percent. Pride yourself on being a slowpoke.
2. Avoid "jack rabbit" starts.
Flooring the gas pedal wastes gas and leads to drastically higher pollution rates.
3. Anticipate stops.
Think ahead to anticipate stops so your vehicle can coast down. Accelerating hard and braking hard wastes gas, increases pollution, and wears out your brakes.
4. Keep your tires properly inflated.
For every 3 pounds below recommended pressure, fuel economy goes down by about 1 percent.
5. Avoid rush hour, if possible.
Stop-and-go driving burns gas and increases emissions of smog-forming pollutants. For hybrids that can stay in electric mode at low speeds, the effects of stop-and-go driving are greatly reduced.
6. Travel light.
An extra 100 pounds in your trunk reduces fuel economy by about 1 percent.
7. Combine trips.
Warmed-up engines run more efficiently and generate less air pollution.
8. Leave off the air conditioning, if possible.
AC increases fuel consumption, increases smog-forming NOx emissions in some vehicles, and can involve environmentally damaging fluids. At high speeds, open windows increase drag; use vents if possible.
9. Check your own fuel economy every few weeks.
If you notice the numbers slipping, then think about how your driving might have changed, and consider getting a tune-up or an oil change.
10. Drive less.
Give your car a rest by taking public transportation, riding a bike, or walking. The exercise will do you good.