Choose vehicles according to your need. For example, if you mostly drive in cities, a smaller hybrid might be right for you because they get better mileage in city driving and are easier to park. If you need a vehicle for towing or heavy use, consider a clean diesel vehicle. Diesel engines are quieter, more powerful, and 30-35% more efficient than similar-sized gasoline engines. The new generation of clean diesel vehicles must meet the same emissions standards as gasoline vehicles.
- Avoid idling. The best way to warm up a vehicle is to drive it. No more than 30 seconds of idling on winter days is needed. Anything more simply wastes fuel and increases emissions.
- Avoid aggressive driving, such as speeding, rapid acceleration, and hard braking, which can lower your highway gas mileage by up to 33% and your city mileage by 5%.
- Avoid high speeds. Above 100km/h, gas mileage drops rapidly.
- Avoid keeping heavy items in your car; an extra 100 pounds in your vehicle could increase your gas costs.
- Reduce drag by placing items inside the car or trunk rather than on roof racks, which can decrease your fuel economy by 5% or more.
- Combine errands. Several short trips, each one taken from a cold start, can use twice as much fuel as one trip covering the same distance when the engine is warm.
- Use the grade of motor oil your car’s manufacturer recommends. Using a different motor oil it can lower your gas mileage by 1-2%.
- Inflate your tires to the pressure listed in your owner’s manual or on a sticker in the glove box or driver’s side door jamb. This number may differ from the maximum pressure listed on your tire’s sidewall.
- Get regular maintenance checks to avoid fuel economy problems due to worn spark plugs, dragging brakes, sagging belts, low transmission fluid, or transmission problems.
- Don’t ignore the check-engine light – it can alert you to problems that affect fuel economy as well as more serious problems, even when your vehicle seems to be running fine.
Reduce your plug-in time to four hours a day. If every Saskatchewan resident that currently plugs in their vehicle for more than four hours did this, the total power saved in a year would be 45,701,280 kWh - the equivalent of taking approximately 8,500 cars off our roads or enough to power more than 5,300 homes per year! This is also equivalent to planting about 7,430,000 trees and retiring nearly 76,200 refrigerators.
Install a timer on your block heater to save about $25 a year (savings are based on reducing plug-in time from 12 hours to 4 hours per night).