ENERGY SAVING TIPS ON THE ROAD
Energy saving tips on the road
- In California, about half of our energy is used by the transportation sector. We spend $110 billion a year on transportation energy. Small changes in our transportation habits can reap big energy savings.
- One of the biggest energy saving tips is to accelerate and brake your vehicle gently. Quick starts and stops can decrease mileage by up to 12 percent.
- Anticipate stops whenever you can. Letting your car roll to a stop is a good way to improve your gas mileage.
- An automatic transmission is more efficient with gradual acceleration.
- Relax on the highway and enjoy the trip. Driving aggressively can lower your car's gas mileage by 33 percent.
- How to save energy? It's easy to plan your trips so you won't get stuck in traffic jams. Check San Diego Traffic Report or listen to radio reports to find congested areas and take alternate routes.
- Avoid rush hour traffic if you can. Not only is stop-and-go traffic stressful and annoying, it's bad for your car's gas mileage.
- Stagger your work hours so you can time your weekday commuting at less busy times of the day.
- Use the cruise control whenever possible. It saves fuel by keeping your vehicle at a steady speed.
- One of the simplest ways to save energy is to keep your tires properly inflated. The U.S. Department of Energy reports that four million gallons of gasoline could be saved nationwide each day for every pound per square inch (psi) of under-inflated tires.
- If your car doesn't "ping," it's probably all right to use regular or medium unleaded gasoline. You'll save money by not using premium gasoline.
- Using your cars's air conditioner decreases gas mileage by as much as 20 percent.
- Flipping on the air conditioning full blast as soon as you hop into a hot car wastes gas and money.
- When you first get into a hot car, cool it down the old fashioned way - roll down the windows, open the vents and peel back the sunroof. Then, start the car and turn on the air conditioning.
- In more moderate weather, perhaps you can get by using the flow-through ventilation on your car instead of the air conditioner.
- At low speeds, it's effective to open a window to stay cool. At highway speeds, modern cars are more fuel efficient with the air conditioning on than with it off and the windows down.
- One energy saving tip is to park in a shady spot in hot weather. You won't have to blast the air conditioning to cool it down.
- Vehicle air conditioners contain - and often leak - CFCs (chlorofluorocarbons), the compounds mainly responsible for ozone layer depletion. Be sure your air conditioner is serviced by a certified technician who recaptures the CFC and recycles it, instead of letting it loose into the air.
- Make sure your car is properly tuned, spark plugs are firing right and the oil and air filters are clean. Old, dirty oil and clogged filters rob your engine of energy efficiency and increase air pollution.
- Looking for other ways to save energy while driving? Turn off your car engine if you stop for more than 30 seconds because restarting uses less gasoline - honest.
- Speeding is a very expensive and a wasteful habit. Driving fast may get you there quicker - but you're wasting precious fossil fuel and spending more time and money at the gas pump.
- Reducing your speed is one of the simplest ways to save energy on the road. The EPA says that for every one mile-per-hour that you drive above 55 mph, a vehicle loses about one percent in fuel economy.
- A passenger car getting 30 mpg at 55 mph, gets only 27 mpg at 65 mph; 25.5 mpg at 70 mph.
- Driving 75 mph instead of 65 mph lowers your car's fuel economy by 10 percent.
- Follow your owner's manual recommendation on the type of oil to use under specific conditions. The choice you make in engine oil can effect energy efficiency and fuel economy.
- Make sure that all used oil is taken to an oil recycling center.
- Luggage racks increase vehicle drag and rob you of gas mileage. Remove them when not in use to save energy.
- Avoid carrying items on your car's roof, whenever possible. A loaded roof rack increases your car's air drag and pulls down your car's mileage by 5 percent.
- Travel light. Carrying extra weight in your car or truck cuts down your gas mileage.
- On the average, each 100 pounds of extra vehicle weight will cost up to one-half mile per gallon.
- When buying a new vehicle, compare the energy requirements of various models and buy an energy-efficient one. To compare fuel economy among cars go to www.fueleconomy.gov
- Check out the gas-electric hybrid vehicles to double your mileage. They are the car of the future and they're here today. The Toyota Prius is a world-class, highly advanced vehicle offering excellent space, high performance and 40-plus miles per gallon.
- Avoiding making special driving trips is one of the easiest ways to save energy. Plan and combine your errands to accomplish more on the same trip driving less miles and using less precious gasoline.
- Making a special trip to fill up the gas tank is an old habit. Fill your vehicle when you are already on the road.
- Take the train or bus to work to save energy. Better yet, bike to work to save gas and to stay in shape.
- One of the simplest energy saving ideas is to get in your car, adjust the mirror and fasten the seat belt, then start the car. Millions of gallons of gasoline are wasted each day by starting the car before drivers are ready to go.
- When using a cell phone, save energy by shutting off your engine and turning the ignition to the accessory mode.
- Reserve your big SUV for hauling a large group of people. Use a smaller vehicle for driving alone around town.
- Get a scooter or motorcycle. Vespas and other scooters get 60-plus mpg and they're fun for short trips around town.
- Use alternative forms of transportation. Take public transportation, walk or bike.
- Use the Internet to map unfamiliar routes in advance, so you won't get lost and have to drive around looking for your destination.
- A GPS system will save fuel if you travel to a lot of new, unfamiliar destinations. Remember to turn it off when not in use to reduce energy consumption.
- When renting a car, choose a model that gets good gas mileage. Small Hondas, Toyotas and Hyundais as well as the Ford Focus get 35 mpg or more on the highway. To compare fuel economy among cars go to www.fueleconomy.gov
- One of the fun energy saving tips is to share rides to work, school, church and social activities. You'll make new friends and save valuable fuel.
- Use a commercial car wash that recycles water to save water and prevent toxic runoff. If you do wash your own car at home, park it on the grass to use the water.
- Idling in the drive through at banks and restaurants is a waste of gasoline. Instead, park outside and walk in - it's often faster plus you'll get a little exercise.