Ensure Tires are Inflated to the Correct Pressure
This is the cheapest and easiest way to control fuel expenses. and the one most often overlooked. If your drivers don't have a tire gauge, it is worth the expense to buy them one so they can ensure that tires are inflated to the manufacturer's recommended level.
Clean Out the Trunk and Eliminate Unnecessary Weight
Cars, like cargo trucks, get much better mileage when they're not loaded with unnecessary additional weight. According to AutoZone, every 200 lbs. of unnecessary weight trims one mile off fuel efficiency.
Avoid Long Idling
The worst mileage a car can get is 0 miles per gallon, which occurs when it idles. Idling for long periods of time, whether at a rail road crossing or pulling off the road to make a cell phone call, consumes gas that could be saved by simply turning off the engine. Restarting an engine uses about the same amount of gas as idling for 30 seconds. When idling for longer periods of time, shut off the engine.
Buy Gasoline in the Morning
To maximize fuel economy, the editors of Kelley Blue Book suggest buying gasoline when the temperature is cold and gasoline is at its densest. Consumers are charged based on volume, not density.
Maintain Preventive Maintenance Schedules
Proper maintenance will increase a vehicle's fuel economy. Keep the air filter clean. A dirty filter clogs an engine's air supply, causing a higher fuel-to-air ratio and thereby increasing gasoline consumption.
Be An Energy-Conscious Driver
Just like turning off the lights in unoccupied rooms at home, drivers should practice energy conservation habits in their vehicles as well. For example, use the air conditioner only when needed. An air conditioner is one of the biggest drains on engine power and fuel economy. It can reduce gas consumption by 5 to 20 percent, depending on the type of vehicle and the way it is driven.
Take Public Transportation
Carpool to work. Your company may have a carpool program already in place!
The Charlotte-Area Transit System (CATS) provides public transportation throughout the Charlotte region, and have many carpool and vanpool operations designed to assist you. Call (704) 336-RIDE for a CATS schedule, visit their website
or call 311, and be connected to CATS rider information.
CATS carpool program. You can form a carpool or join an existing one through CATS. Contact them at (704) 336-RIDE or visit their website at www.sharetheride.com for a computerized list of carpools in your area.
CATS Vanpool. CATS can assist you in starting or joining or forming a van pool. Call CATS at (704) 336-RIDE for more information.
Also, check into telecommuting policies at your work place.
Drive at Moderate Speeds
Wind drag is a key source of reduced fuel mileage, causing an engine to work harder, thereby reducing fuel economy. The faster you push a vehicle, the more air it must push out of the way. Even with all the talk about the aerodynamics of today's vehicles, some trucks, vans, and SUVs have the aerodynamics of a brick. Another suggestion to minimize wind drag is to keep the vehicle's windows rolled up. This allows air to flow over the body, rather than drawing it inside the cabin and slowing down the vehicle.
Use Cruise Control during Highway Driving
Unnecessary changes in speed are wasteful, and the use of cruise control helps improve fuel economy.
Develop a More Efficient Routing Plan
Combine errands and make sure your route isn't taking you all over town, when just traveling within a short radius will do.
Monitor Fuel Economy While Driving
If a vehicle has a trip computer, use the "instant fuel economy" display to refine driving habits.
Avoid Jackrabbit Starts
A car consumes extra fuel when accelerating. To maximize fuel economy, drivers need to examine their driving habits. Simply limiting acceleration and fast braking can increase fuel economy.
Stick to the Speed Limit and Anticipate Traffic Flow
Driving fast wastes gas. Traveling at 65 miles per hour uses 15 percent more fuel than driving at 55 mph. By adhering to speed limits, a driver will conserve fuel.
By anticipating a traffic light change, an upcoming stop sign, or the need to slow down for a curve, you can avoid or reduce brake use and save gasoline in the process. Like the "jackrabbit start," the "jackrabbit stop" is a major contributor to inefficient driving.
When you come upon a "merge ahead" sign, automatically check your speed, traffic spacing, and length of the acceleration lane so that you can merge smoothly without interrupting momentum any more than necessary.
By not driving aggressively, drivers can save up to 20 percent in fuel economy, advises the EPA. Driving smoothly and anticipating stops to avoid sudden braking maximize fuel economy.