Wondering how to drive more efficiently? Whether you are fleet owner or manager, a professional driver or even someone who wants to just improve their driving, don’t worry! We’ve got you covered.
In this article we’ve gathered some basic — though, important — tips that will help you take your driving to the next level. Before we get into the details, you generally need to remember that the more cautious you are with your vehicle, the better your driving will be; and the longer will be its lifetime.
Tips to drive more efficiently
1. You are not a racer; don’t act like one
The first bit of behavior you should avoid when driving your vehicle is doing more than the speed limit. Setting aside safety reasons and legal consequences, which are the most important, driving at very high speed can largely impact fuel consumption for the worse. Not to mention the fatigue imposed to your engine.
When you drive at high speed or accelerate too rapidly, the rotation per minute of your engine (RPM) is increased to the extent that your engine may be working considerably harder, for no significant reason. If you do that for a long period of time, there is a chance that unwarranted mechanical problems will occur, incurring some hefty costs. Our advice is to try and keep the RPM of your engine close to 2000; drive more efficiently!
2. Avoid stopping, as much as you can
As mentioned, every time you accelerate, you make your engine work harder. And when you use the breaks, the result of said acceleration is lost. We understand that it’s sometimes impossible to make a trip without stopping. Especially if there is a good amount of traffic on the road. But, if you pay close attention to the road and the traffic, you can anticipate small changes in driving behaviors. And you can increase or decrease your speed accordingly in a much smoother way, by shifting up and down through your gears, or letting go of the gas pedal. These small details ought to help you drive more efficiently.
Another solution you can consider, so that you don’t have to stop all the time, is using motorways for your trips, instead. On motorways, you have a lot more space than on regular city roads. And, unless there is some special occasion like Thanksgiving, the traffic shouldn’t typically be that much. That way, you have minimal changes in your speed. And you may even be able to use your cruise control function, for more steady and relaxed driving, if that feature is available. Don’t abuse it, however, because it’s only useful on roads that are designed to help maintain a steady speed.
3. Your vehicle stays idle, your fuel tank doesn’t stay full
When you make a stop for more than one minute — except when you’re stuck in traffic — you may consider turning off your engine. This will save you some fuel and your car will not produce any unnecessary emissions. Also, the stop-start function is very useful, to that end. If your vehicle has it, you can try it out. This function turns the car engine off when you stop and it automatically turns it on when you are ready to start moving again. They are designed to help you drive more efficiently.
4. Don’t make unnecessary trips
Your engine takes a while to reach the optimal temperature for optimal fuel efficiency, so prefer longer trips if you can. An option is to walk or ride a bike for close-by areas. Or, if you still want to use your car, you can combine different destinations into one trip. That way, not only do you drive more efficiently, but your engine is given the chance to reach nominal temperature.
5. Check your tires
Tires can play a very important role to the quality of the driving experience. If they aren’t inflated to the right pressure, they negatively impact many aspects of your driving experience. Specifically, under-inflated tires — except annoying — can be potentially dangerous when braking. And, not only will they increase fuel consumption, but their lifespan will be reduced by around 6000 miles. That’s no way to drive efficiently! Make sure you check tire pressure at least once a month, to be sure you get the optimal driving experience and maximum lifespan.
6. Do your maintenance
Good, old-fashioned maintenance is critical to a vehicle’s status. And it will go a long way in keeping your vehicle in pristine condition and driving it without issues. And, of course, it’s a perfect way to drive more efficiently and save money, at the same time!
Five things are most important to keep an eye on frequently:
- Lubrication: Make sure your oil tank is full, up to specifications. Check every 500-600 miles, or so.
- Cooling: Manufacturers have kept in mind the occasional procrastinator, adding a secondary radiator tank. Still, you should make sure it remains full, avoiding unnecessary over-heating.
- Fluids: Modern vehicles have a host of different fluid tanks to ensure smooth operation. Power steering, brakes, transmission; these are some of the thinks you should check occasionally for levels.
- Air/Filtering: A vehicle needs oxygen to run properly. And if it doesn’t come in properly, it “breathes” less than needed for optimal combustion. Be sure to frequently clean or replace your air filters, for optimal performance.
- Braking: Having an engine that purrs like a kitten is one thing. Stopping the vehicle at the traffic light or in cases of emergency is another. Braking pads are cheap and will make a whole world of difference in your driving experience and safety. Changing them every 4000-5000 miles wouldn’t take more than half an hour; and it could change your life!
Fleet efficiency is a big deal in business viability. And a few driving tips is only a great way to get you started in the right direction. Driving behavior, vehicle maintenance and cost management are also critical aspects in managing your daily routine as best as possible. Veturilo can help you make the right decisions at the right time, and drive more efficiently. Why not give it a shot?