The travel months are fast approaching! School is letting out for the summer, workers are beginning to take their vacation days, and the heat is rolling in! All of this seems to mean that gas prices will be on the rise!
General Motors Fuel economy engineers, Ann Wenzlick and Beth Nunning, set out to see just how much “smart driving” really affected fuel economy. They both drove identical Chevrolet Cruze LTs with an EPA estimated rating of 24 MPG city and 36 MPG highway. They drove a typical workday commute. For the route, they drove both cars for 20 minutes, including city and highway driving as well as stopping for some coffee.
The results show that by giving minimal effort and thought while driving can improve your mileage substantially! Wenzlick average 37 miles per gallon using efficient driving habits in a properly maintained Cruze, while Nunning managed only 21 miles per gallon! That difference means that Nunning would get 250 fewer miles per tank of gas, while Wenzlick would save $100 a month- or $1200 a year – assuming 15,000 miles and $4 a gallon for gas. That is an incredible savings for getting to the same place!
OnStar has data that shows the fuel economy of drivers in identical cars can vary by 75 percent! Not only does the driving habits of the driver affect the gas mileage, but also how well-maintained the vehicle itself is.
5 Driving Tips to Save at the Pump
- Don’t use the drive-through.
While Beth Nunning waited in the driver-thru for her morning coffee run with her engine idling, Wenzlick turned her car off and walked inside to get the cup of coffee. Idling your vehicle for 15 minutes can burn an average of a quarter of a gallon of gas. That can add another $1 to you cup of coffee!
- Take it Easy on the Acceleration.
You see these drivers all the time. The ones that take off really fast when the light turns green and then they have to stomp on their brakes because they get on the tail of the car ahead of them! This aggressive driving can severely hurt your mileage! Instead, try and accelerate smoothly and drive smoothly. Your mileage can increase by up to 20 percent or more!
- Drive 70, not 80
I am a victim of this and actually experimented last time I went down to Dallas, TX. I drove 70 on the dot the entire time. Not only was my fuel economy much better, but I also didn’t have to fight with the other vehicle trying to go faster. This can actually save you up to 4 miles a gallon! You won’t get to your destination much later either.
- Utilize your Cruise Control.
Naturally, you will speed up and slow down because generally traffic around you is doing so. When possible use your cruise control to help maintain a steady speed. This will help maximize your fuel economy. A constant speed is much more efficient then speeding up and slowing down.
- Roll those windows up!
There is a common debate about whether using your A/C or rolling your windows down is better for fuel economy. The truth is, that by having your windows down while going highway speeds will act like a parachute on your vehicle and make it have to work that much more.
by Brad Troedel
Red River Chevrolet