Drive Green to Save on Fuel

My grandmother used to say that, “A penny saved is a penny earned.”

Sure, we’ve started rounding things off at a nickel, but her advice wasn’t really about making change. It was all about common sense (or, was that, common cents?).

Regardless, being a green driver just makes sense. We all want to save the trees and the squirrels but when it comes to a summer road trip with friends and family, sometimes driving is the most convenient and affordable option. The price of gas only goes in one direction, so practice these simple tips to help keep your green in your wallet, where it belongs.

Run a Tight Ship

Maybe your dad liked to change the oil himself; maybe he taught you to rotate your own tires, or maybe his idea of vehicle maintenance was a car wash and one of those pine tree air fresheners. Regardless, a well-maintained vehicle will definitely pay you back in reduced costs for fuel and repairs.

Today’s vehicles might be harder to take apart and put back together, but you can save big bucks by replacing your own air filters and keeping your tires properly inflated. Your car’s maintenance is especially important in the colder months. Follow these winter car care tips to get your car ready for snow, ice, and harsh temperatures.

Play the Hypermiling Game

Did you know that driving 125 km/h on the highway can cut your fuel economy by up to 15%? Driving green is about driving smart, and the smarter you drive, the more money you can save.

  • Avoid ‘jackrabbit’ starts and hard braking.
  • Accelerate smoothly when passing, and use your cruise control on highway drives.
  • If you have a manual transmission, gear up as soon as you can to keep those gas-guzzling rpms down.
  • If you really want to earn some badges, turn off the a/c (especially at city speeds) and clear the excess junk from your trunk to cut weight.

Hot Tips for Cool Customers

Unless you’ve converted the family minivan over to solar power, it’s the little things that add up to big savings at the pump. Leaving a bit early can help you stick to the speed limit and avoid the kind of aggressive driving that wastes gas. Excessive idling is hard on the exhaust system so avoid drive-thrus, and turn off the ignition when you pull over for a break. Be cool — park in the shade and practice the 4/60 rule (4 windows open at 60 km/h) to keep things nice and chill.

When I'm not busy advocating for safer roads and communities, I can be found advocating for my children to eat their vegetables and clean their rooms. I'm committed to helping AMA members find the confidence to live their best lives.