Tips for Choosing the Best, Most Fuel Efficient Vehicles & Easy Fuel Economy Driving Tips
Buying a new car is a big decision. And with gas prices skyrocketing, the demand for fuel efficient vehicles is also reaching new heights. But how do you find the most fuel efficient vehicle, while also finding one that also fits your lifestyle?
Here are a few tips to help you in your search:
1. Know what you need. While a compact car may give you the best bang for your buck, it’s not exactly a reality if you have a big family. Decide what works best (minivan, SUV, sedan, coupe, truck), rule out models that are out of your price range and go from there. Then you can start comparing fuel efficient vehicles that are more suited to you.
2. Choose an engine size. If you haul a lot of items or people around, you may want to have some power under the hood when you need it. But keep in mind, you’ll pay for that power at the pump. A car with a four-cylinder engine is a more fuel efficient vehicle than one with a six- or eight-cylinder engine. Choose one that works for you.
3. Compare online. Plenty of online car sites offer comparison tools that let you look at several vehicles side by side and compare gas mileage and other features. With these easy-to-use research tools, everything you need to find the best fuel efficient vehicle for you is right at your fingertips.
4. Consider a Hybrid. When it comes to big savings at the pump, hybrid vehicles seem an obvious choice—yet they’re often overlooked. Today’s technologically advanced hybrid vehicles offer proven reliability and come in a range of types—from compacts to SUVs. You may pay a little bit more for a hybrid upfront—but the savings at the gas station may be worth it.
5. Buy a new or “newer” car. Over the past few years, manufacturers have added a variety of technologies to improve mileage and create the most fuel efficient vehicles available. Be sure to compare new to used before making any decisions.
Easy Fuel Economy Driving Tips
With gas prices seemingly always on the rise, choosing a car that offers the best fuel economy is a smart way to save money at the pump. But aside from choosing a vehicle with a great EPA rating, there are a few easy fuel economy tips that can also help you get more bang for your buck:
1. Drive safely. According to the U.S. Department of Energy, aggressive tactics like speeding and stop-and-go driving waste gas and can actually lower your gas mileage by 33% at highway speeds and 5% around town. Driving sensibly not only improves fuel economy, it also keeps everyone safer on the road.
2. Maintain your vehicle. By following your vehicle’s recommended maintenance and tune-up schedule, you’re helping to maximize efficiency. While many models vary, most major service intervals are every 12,000 miles for the first three years or 36,000 miles and at 25,000-mile intervals after that. Check your driver’s manual to find yours.
3. Check your tires. Another easy way to improve your fuel economy is by keeping your tires properly inflated. Use a pressure gauge regularly to check all four of your tires. (Your vehicle’s recommended tire pressure information is usually located on the driver’s side door jamb or in the glove box. If you can’t find it there, check your owner’s manual.) It’s best to keep pressure slightly lower in hot weather, and slightly higher in colder weather. Properly inflated tires also keep you safer on the road. (Source)
3 Simple Maintenance Tips for the Most Fuel Efficient Cars
Today’s vehicles are pretty easy to take care of and maintain. Put some air in the tires, get regular oil changes and tune ups and you’re good to go. Both of those tasks also go pretty far in creating a more fuel efficient car. But if you really want to maximize your dollars at the gas pump, here are three lesser-known maintenance tips that people tend to overlook:
1. Use the right oil. Whether you take your car for an oil change, or you change it yourself, be sure it’s getting the grade of motor oil recommended in your owner’s manual. For example, using 10W-30 motor oil in an engine designed to use 5W-30 can lower your gas mileage by one to two percent. Choosing a motor oil with additives that reduce friction also creates a more fuel efficient car. Just look for the American Petroleum Institute’s ( API) “Energy Conserving” symbol on the bottle.
2. Let your car breathe. A recent study conducted for the U.S. Department of Energy found that a clogged air filter can reduce gas mileage in older cars with carbureted engines by as much as 14 percent. While replacing clogged air filters on newer cars doesn’t necessarily improve MPG significantly, it can improve acceleration time.
3. Don’t scrimp on parts. When it comes to your engine, something as simple as spark plugs make a big difference. A dirty, worn out or inferior spark plug can cause inconsistent firing, which may result in reduced performance and a less fuel efficient car. Choose parts designed specifically for your vehicle’s engine that are approved by the manufacturer.
But having the most fuel efficient car isn’t all about the maintenance. Your driving habits can also help. Planning ahead and combining trips can go a long way in saving you money at the pump. Also, be sure to avoid aggressive tactics like speeding and stop-and-go driving, which reduce fuel efficiency. (Source).