Fuel Conservation Tips For Memorial Day
Don't let the gas prices stop you from traveling for the holiday weekend. There are a million fuel saving lists out there but Popular Mechanics took it a step further. They took a ten year old car and actually tried out some techniques and reported which worked.
Here's what Popular Mechanics had to say:
1. Coast to a Stop
Generally, the less you actually have to hit your brakes, the better your fuel economy. As PM said "Brakes take the kinetic energy of a moving car—energy it took pricey gasoline to generate—and turn it into heat that's lost to the air." It's a good rule of thumb to anticipate that a light will turn red and ease off the gas.
2. At Hight Speeds, Close Your Windows and use A/C
PM's testing led to some interesting data- "Aerodynamic drag rises exponentially with speed—the faster you go, the more the open windows hurt efficiency. The answer? Below 55 mph, open the windows and leave the a/c off. But at 60 mph or higher, keeping them closed and the air conditioning running will burn less fuel."
3. Avoid Slowly Crawling Up To A Speed
PM said it best- "Conventional wisdom says that jackrabbit starts consume more fuel. But it turns out that nursing your speed up to the limit too slowly also lowers mpg. How can that be? Cars get poorer fuel economy in lower gears, and accelerating too slowly prevents upshifting at an efficient rate. The best acceleration rate varies with the vehicle, gear ratios and weight. But in our testing we found that taking 15 seconds to accelerate to 50 mph used less fuel than taking 30 seconds to reach the same speed, because the car entered its top, fuel-saving gear sooner."
So there you go. Have fun and be safe this weekend!