Planning pays off
Get the most out of your tank and your time on the road with these five travel- management tips:
Plan ahead. Map out your route, especially if it’s long. Where possible and prudent, use four- lane rather than two- lane highways and avoid roads that cut through major cities and are dotted with stoplights, intersections and pedestrians.
Whatever your destination, always give yourself enough time to get there.
Without the stress of running late, you’ll be more likely to brake gently, accelerate slowly, avoid high speeds and enjoy your ride.
Combine trips. Run your errands one after the other, planning your route to avoid backtracking and rush- hour traffic. The longer excursion will enable your vehicle’s engine to warm up to the temperature at which it converts energy most efficiently.
Track your fuel consumption. Challenge yourself to cut your fuel consumption. For example, aim to make a tank of fuel last two weeks, or try to keep your monthly fuel costs below a certain amount. To help you achieve your goals, use Natural Resources Canada’s Track Your Fuel Consumption tool. This online app enables you to calculate your fuel consumption and compare it to manufacturers’ base ratings and the results of other drivers with the same vehicle. Use a vehicle suited to your needs. Check out Natural Resources Canada’s Fuel Consumption Guide for a complete list of vehicles sold in Canada, along with their fuel- consumption ratings and estimated annual carbon dioxide emis- sions.
Use the information in the guide to help you select the most fuel- efficient vehicle for your daily needs.
Here are five fuel- efficient driving habits to help you save up to 25 per cent.
1. Be a gentle giant – The harder you accelerate the more fuel you consume. In the city, where about half the fuel you consume is used to accelerate, you can save fuel by easing up on the pedal. Imagine an egg under your foot and an open cup of coffee on your dashboard.
2. Be steady – Drive at a steady, consistent speed. You'll use less fuel, keep traffic flowing smoothly, minimize exhaust emissions and enjoy safer driving.
3. Anticipate traffic – Hard braking and rapid acceleration burns more fuel and is unsafe. Be defensive and watch for upcoming changes in traffic. Avoid coming to a complete stop unless you hit a stop sign or red light. Leave plenty of space between you and the vehicle in front of you.
4. Coast to decelerate – Coasting to a stop with your foot off the gas pedal is like driving for free. By predicting slowdowns, you can decrease your speed, conserve fuel and save money. Most vehicles today have fuelinjection systems that automatically shut off the flow of fuel to your engine when the gas pedal is released, so take advantage.
5. Slow down – The faster a vehicle travels above 80 km/ h, the more fuel it consumes. A vehicle needs 20 per cent more fuel to go 120 km/ h than to go 100 km/ h.