Year after year, saving money has been at the top of the list when it comes to new year’s resolutions set by Americans. And there’s no better way to settle into 2019 than by getting a head start on your financial goals by saving money at the pump. While our experts at Caliber Collision know a thing or two about the latest fuel-efficient autos, we can’t overlook these petroleum-preserving practices that every driver can get in on.
SMOOTH AND STEADY WINS THE RACE
Auto enthusiasts love to learn about the latest cars that can blast off from 0–60mph in 2.9 seconds, but just because they can doesn’t mean you should. Accelerating quickly requires more energy, and more energy means more gas. The gas pedal is appropriately named, and flooring it requires the engine to burn exponentially more gas. Alternatively, slamming on the brakes can be just as detrimental to your miles per gallon. The earlier you take your foot off the gas pedal, easing into a stop, the less gas is wasted. While you might have big dreams of becoming the next Daytona 500 winner, save it for the track and keep it easy on the road.
Taking care of your tires can have a tremendous impact on your car’s gas efficiency. By staying in the know on inflation levels, you can keep your ride smooth and your finances smoother. When your wheels lack pressure they don’t roll as smoothly, and that means your engine has to work harder just to keep them moving. Even though there are a ton of new gadgets out there to keep your tires in check, don’t discount this simple task to help keep your tank full for the long haul.
ADJUST YOUR AIR
We’ve talked about the air in your tires, now let's talk about the air in your cabin . We understand it can be hot, especially in the south, but consider turning off the AC and enjoying nature’s breeze if the highs aren’t too high. Rolling down your windows instead of turning on the cool air can preserve gas by relieving some of the demand on your engine. The catch? When you’re driving over 60 mph, the drag caused by open windows reduces gas mileage faster than AC can use it. For best results, keep the AC off and windows down when you’re driving on roads, but roll those windows back up when you’re on highways and high-speed areas.
DON’T BE A DRAG
Don’t get us wrong—we love our tech gear. From bike racks to storage units, we are all about packing up the car for the perfect road trip. But on day-to-day routes, it’s important to reduce extra aerodynamic drag by keeping your car’s exterior as uncluttered as possible. When there are uneven surfaces added to your ride’s exterior, your engine has to work harder and guzzle up more gas. In a Buick test, two mountain bikes strapped to your car’s roof were found to decrease mileage by 8 mpg. A good rule of thumb? If you aren’t planning on using those racked objects that day, remove the equipment and racks from your car to keep your ride aerodynamic and save yourself a dime.
LOSE THE EXTRA BAGGAGE
Your car’s exterior is important in reducing aerodynamic drag, but the inside is just as important when it comes to weighing down the engine. Imagine your car as if it were the human body. If someone were walking around empty handed, he or she would be exerting a normal amount of energy. Now imagine that same person hauling a 50 lb backpack. After traveling the same distance, they’re sure to be panting and sweating. The same goes for your car—the more excess weight carried, the greater the workload on the engine, the greater amount of gas consumption. That’s right, improving your mileage this year may be as simple as a quick decluttering of your car.
Wherever the new year takes you, let’s focus more on fueling memories and less on gas tanks. In addition to saving some green, you’re also creating a little more green by reducing your carbon footprint. Small changes can make a big difference as you hit the road. However, protecting your tank doesn’t always mean protecting your ride. If you find your ride is in need of repairs, remember the Caliber Collision teammates are experts at Restoring the Rhythm of Your Life.™