Working from home just one day a week could lower your fuel costs by as much as 20%.
Working from home is easier than ever, thanks to the broad assortment of instant messaging, video chat, teleconferencing, and other world-flattening technologies. Avoiding the rush-hour trek to work and back just one day a week could extend your tank of gas by as much as 20%.
Check your miles per gallon when you fill up to stay aware of your car’s fuel consumption.
Most cars these days have trip computers that will show you the average fuel economy of each tank of gas. Just press the button to reset the calculation at every fillup and track your numbers using a notebook, or use a handy smartphone app like Road Trip Lite, or Fuel Buddy or any of the other multitudes of fuel economy tracking apps that are available for the iPhone and Android users.
And if you don't have a trip computer or a smart phone, it's still an easy calculation, even for someone who's not good at arithmetic: simply divide the (miles driven between fillups) by (the number of gallons used) to identify your (average mpg for each tank.
Whether you drive a shiny new hybrid or a dependable old clunker, consider #DrivingDirty.
This is important, especially if you live in drought-ridden California: Between the gallons of water you use to soap up your sponges and the fresh water flowing unrestricted from your garden hose, washing your car at home can use between 80 and 140 gallons of water.
Park in the shade or a garage whenever you can.
The cooler you can keep your car while it's parked, the less fuel you need to use to run the air conditioning to cool it off when you start driving again. Parking in a garage also decreases the energy needed to warm up on cold winter mornings. If you can't park in the shade, consider using an electric or solar car fan, or a reflective windshield shade to help keep your car's interior more comfortable.
Motor oil, batteries, and tires should all be recycled.
Most repair shops engage in proper recycling and disposal of toxic fluids and products such as used oil, car tires, and batteries. If you take the DIY approach, be sure you do, too! Check out the Environmental Protection Agency recycling website for helpful information about disposing of car waste -- like used oil, batteries, and tires -- properly.
Cranking up the air conditioning can increase fuel consumption by as much as 13% to 21%.
If the weather’s nice, you might be tempted to roll down the windows instead, but this can decrease your vehicle’s aerodynamic efficiency when traveling at highway speeds. If you're toodling through town, roll them down; if you're flying on the freeway, the Consumer Energy Center recommends you use the flow-through ventilation instead of rolling down the windows.
A well-tuned car can run 4% more efficiently than one that is out or tune or has failed its emissions test.
According to the Car Care Council, regular tune-ups, maintenance, and having clean air filters will help your car pollute less and burn less gas. Getting a tune-up can improve gas mileage by an average of 4 percent. Simply changing the car’s air filter can improve efficiency by 10 percent. Fixing a serious maintenance problem, such as a faulty oxygen sensor, can improve gas mileage by as much as 40 percent.
On average, every single mile per hour increase over 50 mph reduces your fuel economy by .1 miles per gallon.
Using cruise control on the highway helps you maintain a constant speed and, in most cases, will save gas.
Did you know? Cruise control technology was originally invented in 1788 by James Watt and Mathew Boulton to help control steam engines. Thanks are due to Ralph Teetor, a blind mechanical engineer, who refined refined the technology in 1945 to invent today’s modern automotive cruise control. Thanks to Ralph, this handy feature now makes long drives easier, keeps our speed constant, and even helps us save money.
Replacing a clogged air filter can improve your fuel economy by as much as 10%
As long as you’re switching out your air filter, a reusable air filter is a good way to reduce waste, especially when you consider both the filter and packaging are discarded. While some things -- like paper towels, toilet paper, and tissues -- are better off being disposable, some consider it an investment in their car to purchase a high-quality reusable air filter.