Idling in traffic, at stoplights, or parked in general, eats up more gas mileage than anything. In fact because you are not moving at all your miles per gallon are zero when you are idling in place. This is the worst case scenario for someone trying to save money on gas. Unfortunately in many instances idling is inevitable such as when one is stuck in traffic. However any tricks you can use to eliminate this wasteful gas consumption will have a drastically positive effect on your fuel economy and help you save money on gas. Take a look at the suggestions below for raising your gas mileage through reduction of excessive idling.
1. Highway Traffic
Highway traffic is a killer on MPG’s. The best advice is avoid, avoid, AVOID! If you can alter your driving route to avoid highway or city traffic during your work commutes, you may be able to increase your gas mileage by a whopping depending upon how severe the traffic you were experiencing was to begin with. Remember, when you sit in traffic with the car running you can waste as much as a quarter of a tank of gas every 15 minutes!
2. Warm Up Idling
This is a very overlooked gas mileage saving tip. When you usually start your car for the first time many people sit parked in their driveway for several minutes to let the car warm up. If your car is in good mechanical condition this is not necessary. You may wait 20 seconds or so then start driving. Not wasting precious gas while warming up in the driveway can save you up to a half gallon of gas a week. Try it.
3. Fast Food Drive Thru Idling
Another good tip for saving money on gas that we have tried here at MPGEnhance. This is a gas saving tip that is not obvious to most. But sitting at the drive thru at a fast food restaurant can waste an eighth of a tank of gas if the line is long! Instead, try parking your car and going inside to get the take out. This little exercise saves you gas and gets your legs moving for a quick walk. A double benefit when you look at it that way..
At MPG Enhance we try to implement all of the above idling tips in our daily driving. One thing we have noticed is that highway traffic can have profoundly drastic negative effects on fuel mileage. Remember, when your car is idling you are getting 0 miles to the gallon. This can greatly reduce your overall fuel economy if you routinely hit traffic during the work week. We have seen swings of up to 4 to 5 mpg decrease during weeks when our commutes contained very heavy highway traffic. Our best advice to get around this if your highway route is unavoidable is the following. Leave for work a full hour before your normal commute. If you leave early enough from our experience you can usually bypass the entire heavy traffic