Save Money by Driving Smarter This Summer
Many Kiwis will be embarking on road trips this summer, and although the gas prices have recently gone down, it’s still important to drive efficiently. Here are some tips on how you may be able to save a bit of money by driving smarter this summer.
Avoid having to stop and start too often – choose routes without too many traffic lights, and if possible, avoid driving in peak traffic altogether. Constant breaking and accelerating wastes gas, so try your best to drive as smoothly as possible; and make the most out of the cruise control if you have it, to ensure you maintain a constant speed.
Removing unnecessary items from your car will get rid of excess weight, which can reduce gas usage by as much as 1%. Going through the stuff you have in the car when you get a spare minute will help keep your load down (and your car – tidy!) and therefore, save gas.
Fuel consumption can also be improved by as much as 2% with correctly and regularly inflated tyres; and it’s safer too. It takes more fuel to make underinflated tyres turn, because their rolling resistance increases, and according to energywise.co.nz, it can also affect vehicle handling, breaking and accelerating. Many gas stations have free tools which can be used to quickly inflate tyres – so just a couple of minutes every month or so can save you money and make your car safer for you and everyone else.
Reducing idling time by turning the car off when not moving for over 30-60 seconds can also save gas – however, turning the engine on and off excessively may increase starter wear, so use your discretion.
For quite some time, it has also been suggested that having air conditioning on instead of having the windows down when going fast saves gas – because it minimises the car’s air resistance. However, a new research suggests that having the air conditioning off is better for fuel efficiency at any speed – so, perhaps, more research needs to be done.
There are other efficient driving techniques – sometimes called “hypermiling”, so try them out this summer to see what works best for you in order to save money and the environment.