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Eco-Driving: Ten Easy Tips for Saving Fuel
As fuel costs rise and concerns about the environment increase, many vehicle owners are wondering what they can do to conserve fuel. To help vehicle owners address these concerns, we've assembled a list of the Top 10 Eco-Driving Tips. We call it Eco-Driving because these habits have both ECOnomical and ECOlogical benefits.
Follow these tips to develop Eco-Driving habits:
- Drive at posted speed limits. This is a tip that may save a life as well as fuel. EPA estimates a 10 to 15 percent improvement in fuel economy by driving 55 instead of 65 mph. On the highway, use cruise control whenever possible
- Accelerate smoothly and brake gradually. Jackrabbit starts waste fuel
- Don't be an aggressive driver. Time studies show that fast starts, weaving in and out of traffic and accelerating to and from a stop sign or traffic light don't save much time but do waste fuel and wear out car components such as brakes and tires faster
- Check your tires. Under-inflated tires increase rolling resistance and reduce fuel economy. They also wear more rapidly. Check the vehicle door-post sticker for minimum cold tire inflation pressure. Keep tires properly inflated to the recommended pressure-this alone can reduce the average amount of fuel use by 3 to 4 percent
- Don't idle for more than 30 seconds. Today's engines don't need to be warmed up. Prolonged idling creates excess emissions and wastes fuel. Start the car and immediately drive away
- Avoid piling a lot of luggage on the roof rack. This reduces aerodynamics and can reduce fuel economy by up to 5 percent
- Don't drive at higher speeds with windows wide open. It decreases vehicle aerodynamics on highways and lowers fuel economy
- Maintain your vehicle. A properly tuned-up engine will run more efficiently. Keep the wheels aligned. Wheels that are fighting each other waste fuel
- Replace air filters as needed. Consult the owner's guide for the recommended schedule
- Use good-quality oils with the viscosity grade recommended in the owner guide. Ford recommends SAE 5W-20 oil for most cars and trucks to provide the best fuel economy. Only oils "Certified for Gasoline Engines" by the American Petroleum Institute (API) with the starburst symbol should be used
For more information about Eco-Driving, visit the Driving Skills for Life website.