Being Fuel Efficient

With a new baby arriving in September, we absolutely had to get a larger car.  More specifically, we needed a car that would easily hold 3 car seats.  For those of you who know anything about me, you know that I am anti-SUV, anti-mini van, anti-anything that is a boat on 4 wheels.  Consequently, our decision to buy a mini-van was difficult to accept.   I was pleasantly surprised to discover that now boats on wheels are made with fuel efficiency in mind.  Sure, we don’t get 42 mpg on the highway, but our new Honda Odyssey gets better gas mileage than my old sedan. 

Honda uses something called vehicle cylinder management to help improve fuel efficiency.  In a nutshell, the car reduces the amount of cylinders it uses based on how it is being driven.  Less cylinders use less fuel.  What I love about this system is while Honda has made all the processing transparent, it tells the driver when it enters this economical phase and exactly how many miles per gallon you are getting at that moment and over time.  With exploding gas prices these days, we all want to drive as fuel efficiently as possible, and I love trying to get the most mpg possible.  Here are my tips on how to save gas from my experiences this last month.

  1. Drive as steady a speed as possible.  Drive on the highway and coast down the hills.  Use your cruise control when you can.
  2. Avoid idling!  Find routes to your destinations with the least amount of traffic, stop lights, stop signs and left turns.
  3. Slow down.  After an 80 mile round trip on the turnpike yesterday, I discovered that driving around 60 mph improved my fuel efficiency over driving at 70 mph, and it didn’t add that much time to my trip.
  4. Buy a more fuel-efficient car.  I recommend a Honda because there is nothing better than feeling like you have some control over how you are saving or spending gas.

For more tips, follow @savegastips on Twitter!


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