Sportive and Parsimonious – Fuel Efficiency, and Right Now!

Who’s not talking about fuel efficiency these days? Automakers around the world, including Volkswagen and even supercar manufacturer Lamborghini are taking steps to ensure customers’ cars are at the cutting edge of performance and efficiency.  Vehicle weight savings, improvements in aerodynamics and re-calibrated gearboxes are among the changes you’ll see rolling out more and more in coming years.

Now, whether you drive a car powered by Volkswagen’s legendary TDI engine, or even a Touareg SUV, you better believe there are steps you can take now to improve the fuel efficiency of the car in your driveway today.  How so?  Following are a list of tips from people who know.

2012 Volkswagen Jetta

Maximizing Fuel Economy Behaviours

Basic Techniques:

Proper Maintenance

  • Key factors are to maintain proper tire pressure, wheel alignment and fresh engine oil.  When tires are properly inflated less energy is required to move your vehicle.  Regarding your car’s engine; adhering to your vehicle’s maintenance schedule  (including air filter and spark plug service), addressing any on-board computer faults, and ensuring the vehicle oxygen sensor is running correctly will contribute to efficient motoring.

Efficient Speeds

Maintaining efficient speeds is an important factor in fuel efficiency.

Drive Sensibly

  • Aggressive driving (speeding, rapid acceleration and braking) wastes fuel; it can lower your gas mileage by 33 percent at highway speeds and by 5 percent around town.  Sensible driving also contributes to road safety for you and others, so you may save more than just gas money!

Observe the Speed Limit

  • While each vehicle reaches its optimal fuel economy at a different speed (or range of speeds), gas mileage usually decreases rapidly at speeds above 100 km/h.  You can assume that each 8 km/h you drive over 100 km/h is like paying an additional $0.06 per litre for gas.  Slower speed also decreases braking distances.

Use Cruise Control

  • Using cruise control on the highway helps you maintain a constant speed and, in most cases, will save you fuel.

2012 Volkswagen Beetle

Choice of Gear

Use Overdrive Gears

  • When you use overdrive gearing, your car’s engine speed goes down. This saves gas and reduces engine wear.

Accelerating and Braking

Remove Excess Weight (Benefit – 1-2%/100 lbs)

  • Avoid keeping unnecessary items in your vehicle, especially heavy ones.  An extra 45 kg in your vehicle could reduce your mileage by up to 2%.  This reduction is based on the percentage of extra weight relative to the vehicle’s weight and affects smaller vehicles more than larger ones.

Avoid Excessive Idling

  • Idling nets you 0 l/100 km.  As a rule, vehicles with larger engines typically waste more gas at idle than do cars with smaller engines.

Follow these steps and you may see an improvement in your fuel economy, and almost right away.  If you have any additional tips please leave them in the comments below.  Thanks!

Happy New Year from your Friends at Georgetown Volkswagen


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