Because cars cost so much to buy and maintain, drivers are often obsessed with saving money on gasoline, even if it’s a few cents per gallon. Saving money at the pump is a study in and of itself, and strategies to save on fuel are plentiful.
A vehicle’s engine is designed to be most fuel efficient at a certain RPM (revolutions per minute) range. As oil and gas prices have creeped up steadily throughout 2023, driving with fuel economy in mind and using one driving tip can help you conserve gas and save you upwards of 25%.
That’s a considerable amount of money for a simple move, according to Gary Wilson of Quotezone. “Switching into the highest possible gear keeps the revs low which saves petrol. For example, at a 40 mph speed, the car will consume 25 percent more fuel in third gear compared to fifth,” said Wilson. “Under normal conditions, the gears should be changed when the revs are between 1,500-2,000 RPM.”
By using the highest gear possible within the speed limit, drivers can boost their fuel economy, says Mark Akbar, Managing Director at CarStore.
“It’s not part of the driving test to learn how to use your gears efficiently, you simply have to be able to use them to get the car to move at various speeds,” stated Akbar. “However, to make the most out of every drop of fuel and maintain maximum efficiency, it’s vital that you’re always using the right gear at the right time.”
While the Department of Energy’s FuelEconomy.com website gives tips on how to drive more efficiently — driving the speed limit, avoiding carrying heavy cargo and excess weight, using cruise control, etc. — it is a simple fact that driving in a low gear at high RPMs consumes more fuel than driving at the appropriate gear for the given situation.
A steady speed of around 35 to 55-60 miles per hour is considered best to achieve optimal fuel economy. If you’re tempted to drive slower than 35 mph, your engine will drop to a lower gear, thus using up more fuel. And for every five miles per hour you drive above 60, it is costing you more per gallon.
The way you drive affects your fuel consumption and excessive braking and accelerating will use more fuel. “Every time you apply the brakes, the energy that you’ve paid for in fuel is lost in heat generated by the brake pads and disc,” the auto lease experts at Vanarama told Daily Express US.
“Don’t rev the engine unnecessarily when accelerating, just move gently through the gears, keeping the engine speed to a reasonable level, but without laboring it by being in too high a gear.”
For many drivers, every cent counts. So, instead of spending all your time racing out of town to save a little bit on gas, switching the way you drive might be the best fuel saving strategy yet.
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