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Fueling You Knowledge on Economizing Car Fuel Usage

Jul 4, 2008
In these times of ever-increasing worldwide fuel prices, I recently asked myself if I am using fuel in an economical way. I mentioned these thoughts recently to an acquaintance of mine, Carlos Alberto de Oliveira Santiago, who runs a major fuel distribution company here in Brazil. Who better to ask!

Most drivers probably know that pulling up at a traffic light with such a speed that half of your tires remain as melted rubber on the street is not a showcase of economical driving. But what else can I do to make more miles with the same amount of fuel in my tank?

Referring to the subject as defensive driving, Carlos Alberto de Oliveira Santiago pointed out a number of useful tips that helped me save on my gasoline bills.

1. Turn your car off when not moving at all if the time you are standing still is longer than an average traffic light (15 seconds).

2. Don't carry unnecessary weight in your car when you are not intending to use it that day and try to pack light on longer trips.

3. Give preference to driving with your windows closed. The reduction in air resistance will economize the fuel consumption of your car.

4. Avoid rapid acceleration or braking

5. When reaching a desired speed, give your acceleration pedal a relieve

6. Organize your trips, avoiding unnecessary detours and extra miles

7. Control your fuel consumption, keeping track of the quantities your filled your tank and how many miles you managed to drive with those quantities

These tips might seem obvious, though, looking back, I must honestly admit I remember the various times rushing off to an appointment that I was late for, with my window open and the golf equipment and shoes in the trunk from the weekend before, while not knowing exactly where to go and trying frantically to get in front of that truck blocking my view!

So I realized that it takes quite a change in life style in order to really drive economically. I had to create a space in my house for my golf equipment and stop using my car as a place where I can store things. Though difficult, this was doable. One thing I learned is that involving the whole family into a change like this gives excellent results.

My children especially are reminding me constantly of things I should do in order to drive economically. And it turned out to be an expensive mistake not listening to them. Once I came back from a golf lesson on a Saturday afternoon and my kids saw me enter the house, leaving my golf equipment in the trunk. Smart as they are, they noticed I had not locked the car. So there they went opening the trunk and together carrying the golf equipment, extremely close to the car, into the house to the designated place. So close to the car, I found out later that they scratched a beautiful wave line over the whole side of the car, including one hick up where my son had to adjust his grip on the golf equipment.

In case the gas bills are not yet a worry to you, you might like to take these tips into account for another reason... driving economically helps significantly save the environment!
About the Author
For those who are interested to obtain more tips about saving on petrol costs, I recommend to take a look also on the following websites. The site Carjunky dedicates a whole set of articles to driving economically, while the Australian road service company Racq displays an article titled "five top tips to cut petrol costs" on its website.
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