After a brief holiday respite, gas prices are on the rise again and expected to reach the $4 per gallon mark this coming spring. That means higher fuel costs for the use of your company’s vehicles – unless, you follow these suggestions to increase gas mileage and ease your pain at the pump:
- Instruct your drivers to observe highway speed limits. Cars and trucks lose fuel efficiency at speeds exceeding 55 miles per hour. Mileage drops by about 7 percent for each 5 mph you drive over 60 mph.
- Maintenance of your company’s vehicles is the key to peak performance. Make sure air filters are clean and tires are properly inflated at all times. An underinflated tire can increase your fuel costs up to 13 percent.
- Drive evenly and sensibly. Flooring the gas pedal wastes gas. Also avoid tailgating as slowing down or speeding up also wastes fuel.
- Use cruise control over long distances to maintain a constant speed and save gas.
- Avoid excessively heavy loads on delivery trucks and vans.
- Keep your windows closed while driving – especially at highway speeds. Open windows increase drag and can result in decreased fuel economy of up to 10%.
- Avoid long idling. If your vehicle is stopped for more than a minute, shut off the engine. Restarting the car uses less fuel than letting it idle.
- Buy the lowest grade or octane of gasoline appropriate for your vehicle unless it requires premium gasoline. High octane fuel is a waste of money that won’t boost your vehicle’s performance.
- Tighten your gas caps. Loose, missing or damaged gas caps cause 147 million gallons of gas to evaporate each year.
- Park in the shade. Allowing your vehicle to bake in the hot sun results in a greater amount of evaporative emissions.
- Use the right oil. You can improve your vehicles’ gas mileage by 1-2 percent by using the manufacturer’s recommended grade of motor oil.
- Consider replacing your company vehicles or fleet with hybrids or natural gas vehicles, which over time will save you thousands of dollars in fuel costs annually.
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