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Tips improve vehicle mileage

With the constant increases in the price of gasoline, now more than ever, vehicle owners will want to know some common-sense steps to squeeze more kilometres out of every litre.

Pump up – Under-inflated tires can increase your vehicle’s fuel consumption by up to four per cent. Properly inflated tires last longer and improve your fuel efficiency. It is important to measure the inflation level of your tires once a month, preferably when they are cold.

Reduce speed – Drivers will use 20 per cent less fuel just by reducing their speed from 120 km/h to 100 km/h.

Plan trips – Going to soccer practice and need to go grocery shopping? Try combining separate tasks into one trip.  Taking short trips (less than five kilometres) can burn more fuel because a vehicle doesn’t reach its most efficient operating temperature and vehicle owners drive more kilometres on separate trips, increasing fuel costs and vehicle wear and tear.

Cruise control – By using cruise control when conditions are suitable, drivers can help maximize their fuel efficiency by maintaining the speed limit.

Chill out – Hard acceleration, hard stops and aggressive driving can increase fuel consumption by up to 39 per cent.

Avoid idling – Don’t idle if it’s not necessary.  If stopped for more than 60 seconds – when parked – turn the engine off.

Keep on rolling in traffic – Smooth and steady movement is more fuel-efficient than frequent starts and stops.  Drivers can save a lot of fuel by anticipating traffic, keeping a constant speed and coasting to stops.

Lighten the load – Things like roof and ski racks or heavy items in the trunk decrease a vehicle’s aerodynamics and add weight. Lighten the load by taking only what is necessary.

Limit the use of accessories – Power accessories, like air conditioning, require more fuel from a vehicle, so use them wisely. Cool a hot parked car by lowering windows before blasting the air.  When on the highway, be sure to close the windows for best fuel efficiency, but in the city, shut off the air and open the windows and vents to cool the cabin.

Towing and heavy-duty usage – Fuel consumption can also be reduced by ensuring the front profile of the trailer is hidden by the towing vehicle.