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Ford Offers Driving and Maintenance Tips for Fuel Savings

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Ford’s ECOdriving Tips

It’s not quite at the level yet of a full-blown marketing campaign, but Ford is offering tips on how to drive to maximize fuel efficiency.

According to the US Department of Energy, aggressive driving such as rapid acceleration, speeding and braking can lower gas mileage significantly. Sensible driving helps conserve fuel, saves money and is safer for all drivers.

We call it ECODriving: ECOnomical because it conserves fuel and saves on fuel costs, and ECOlogical because it is better for the environment. This is a perfect time to remind drivers of a few simple actions they can take to help conserve fuel by up to 25% and save money at the same time.

—Andy Acho, Ford worldwide director of environmental outreach and strategy

Ford breaks out its sensible tips into five main areas:

Driving Style

  • Time studies show that aggressive driving, including fast starts, weaving in and out of traffic, accelerating to and from a stop light doesn’t save much time, wastes fuel and wears out some of the car components such as brakes and tires faster.

  • Don’t leave car idling. Today’s engines don’t need to be warmed up. Prolonged idling creates excess emissions and wastes fuel. Start car and immediately and gently drive away.

  • Turn the engine off when idling more than 30 seconds.

  • Start slowly, avoiding rapid acceleration. Jackrabbit starts waste fuel.

  • Accelerate smoothly and brake gradually. Change lead foot to light foot.

  • Anticipate traffic conditions, and accelerate and decelerate smoothly—it’s also safer and reduces brake wear.

Vehicle Speed

  • Aim to maintain a constant speed—pumping the accelerator pumps more fuel into the engine.

  • Drive at posted speed limits—this is a tip that may save a life as well as fuel. EPA estimates a 10-15% improvement by driving 55 instead of 65 mph.

  • Use cruise control on the highway.

Engine Load

  • Avoid piling a lot of luggage on the roof rack. The added frontal area reduces aerodynamics and will hurt fuel economy. It can reduce fuel economy by up to 25 percent.

  • Don’t drive at higher speeds with windows wide open. It increases the aerodynamic drag on the highway and lowers fuel economy.

  • Minimize use of air conditioning. Use the vent setting as much as possible.

  • Park in the shade to keep car cool and reduce the need for air conditioning.

  • Remove excess weight. Unnecessary weight makes the engine work harder and consume more fuel.

Maintenance

  • Maintain a proper engine tune-up to keep vehicles running efficiently. Keep the wheels aligned. Wheels that are fighting each other waste fuel.

  • Under-inflated tires increase rolling resistance and reduce fuel economy. They also wear rapidly. Check the vehicles door-post sticker for minimum cold tire inflation pressure. Keep tires properly inflated to the recommended pressure—this alone can reduce the average amount of fuel use by 3-4 percent.

  • Replace the air filter as recommended—always consult the owner’s manual.

  • Use good quality, energy-conserving (EC) oils with a viscosity grade consistent with the manual. Buy cans marked with the symbol ECII, which is the American Society of Testing Materials logo for fuel-efficient oils.

  • Use a fuel with good detergent additives—to keep the vehicle engine clean and performing efficiently.

Other

  • Plan and consolidate trips to bypass congested routes and avoid stop-and-go traffic. When feasible, carpool.

  • Consider parking instead of using “drive-up” lanes.

  • Consider walking or bicycling for short distances.

  • Use a high-quality fuel with the lowest appropriate octane rating. Check the owner’s manual for the manufacturer’s recommendation. There is no benefit to using premium gas in a vehicle calibrated for regular.

All percentage improvements are, of course, relative to the capabilities of a specific vehicle.

Comments

stomv

Consider walking or bicycling for short distances.

Good God, the Apocolypse is coming. An automobile company has encouraged folks to walk or ride bikes. An American car company, no less.

Hot damn!

joib

Well, perhaps they want people to buy big expensive gas guzzlers despite high gas prices?

Spend less money on fuel => more money to spend on the car itself => profit! ;-)

tom

Is it 1974 deja vu all over again one more time? What on an electronic ignition system is there to "tune"? Doesn't anyone with a mechanical aptitude proofread these things?

t

Here's another tip I didn't see. Buy a small car that gets at least 50mpg, hybrid or not. Lobby to get the VW Lupo in the U.S.

Account Deleted

Excellent tips and I really admire ford for step up and giving such tips for fuel saving while we are driving.

Driving schools Merton

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