10 eco-driving tips that can help you save money and reduce your carbon footprint

By Kijiji Autos
Saving on fuel while eco-driving. Read our 10 tips!

Kaspars Grinvalds - stock.adobe.com

Feeling a little sticker shock at the gas pumps these days? You're not alone. With rising gas prices, carbon taxes on fuel and concerns about climate change, many Canadians are wondering how to save gas when driving. One way to potentially save on fuel is to make the switch to an electric or hybrid vehicle. But if you're not ready to trade in your car, experts recommend adopting eco-driving techniques that can help you save money and fuel. 

Here are 10 simple ways to reduce your fuel consumption and environmental impact:

1. Drive smoothly

Rapid acceleration and hard braking can increase your fuel consumption by up to 39%. To save gas, try to accelerate gently and maintain a reasonable speed rather than weaving through traffic. Experts say that to be as fuel-efficient as possible, you should take about five seconds to accelerate to 20 km/hr.

2. Stick to the speed limit

While you may think getting somewhere faster will save you gas, most cars actually reach peak fuel efficiency between 50 to 80 km/hr. As you increase your speed over that point, your fuel consumption also increases. Driving 120 km/hr uses 20% more fuel than driving 100 km/hr. To help you maintain a steady speed, try using cruise control when highway driving.

3. Keep your distance

One suggestion for how to save fuel is to keep your distance from other cars. When you have plenty of room, you can anticipate traffic and pedestrian movements and adjust your speed accordingly rather than having to slam on the brakes. You can also save gas by coasting to a stop rather than braking.

4. Avoid idling

It can be tempting to leave your engine running, especially on cold winter days, but idling is bad for fuel economy and for the environment. An average car uses 0.3 litres of gas for every 10 minutes of idling. Try to turn off your engine when stopped for more than 60 seconds.

5. Check your tire pressure

A simple way of saving fuel is to make sure your tires are properly inflated. Under-inflated tires can reduce your car's fuel efficiency by up to 4%. It's a great idea to check your tire pressure monthly for safety and to save on gas.

6. Be smart about climate control

While air conditioning can be a lifesaver during a heatwave, it can also increase your fuel consumption by up to 20%. On milder summer days, try driving with the windows down rather than turning on the air, unless you're on the highway where open windows create drag and boost fuel consumption.

7. Reduce excess weight and drag

One suggestion on how to improve fuel economy is to remove any extra cargo or accessories between uses. Bicycle racks and rooftop cargo boxes increase drag even when empty and can increase fuel consumption by up to 20%. 

8. Keep your car well-maintained

Sticking to a regular maintenance schedule can help ensure your car is as fuel-efficient as possible. Unresolved engine issues could increase your fuel consumption by up to 40%. Plus, fresh oil and clean air filters help your car run more efficiently.

9. Combine trips

A warm engine is more efficient than a cold one, so try to combine trips instead of making multiple outings. One suggestion on how to save money on gas is to run errands along your commute rather than going out again in the evening or on the weekend.

10. Track your fuel consumption

A good first step in reducing your fuel consumption is tracking it. Track how often you fill up and keep an eye on your car's fuel consumption display. By changing your driving habits, you could be able to reduce the frequency of your fill-ups.

Ready to trade-up to an eco-friendlier vehicle? Kijiji Autos offers a huge selection of fuel-efficient compact cars plus hybrid and electric vehicles for sale in your neighbourhood and across Canada. With our convenient online financing options, you can even find and finance your next car from the comfort of your home or office.

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