Drive Wisely

Driving efficiently can lower your fuel costs by around 10%. Follow a few simple tricks on how to drive fuel efficiently, and you can save money, increase your safety and extend the life of your vehicle!

Easy
Households: 0 completed, 2 committed
2960
Points ?
$340
Annual Savings
$0 - $0
Upfront Cost
These are estimates
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Energy and water savings

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0
kWh Electricity
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0
Therms Natural Gas
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110
Gallons Gas
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0
Gallons Water
  • Save on fuel costs
  • Reduces wear and tear on your vehicle and tires
  • Reduce carbon emissions and air pollution
  • Creates a more safe driving environment for you and those around you

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Overview

The Action
Follow the Drive Wisely tips and reduce gasoline use.
Is this action for me?
If you drive a car, this action is for you!
When and Who?
This action can be done anytime by anyone.
How long will it take?
Quick - just a few minutes to read and follow the tips.
What is the cost?
No cost and big savings!

Benefits

  • Save on fuel costs

  • Reduces wear and tear on your vehicle and tires

  • Reduce carbon emissions and air pollution

  • Creates a more safe driving environment for you and those around you

Resources

Programs

Find Carpool & Rideshare Programs with 511

Cut your commute time and drive the HOV lane if you drive a qualifying clean vehicle

Information

Bay Area clean air commute options brought to you by the Bay Area Air Quality Management District

The Basics

There are many easy ways to drive more fuel efficiently, saving you money and extending the life of your vehicle! Check out the tips and tricks below.

Checklist

Save the Drag Racing for the Track!
Use Cruise Control
Maintain your Car & Inflate your Tires
Open Your Windows
Park in the Shade
Remove Excess Items to Reduce Weight
Turn Off Engine When Stopped

Cruise Your Way to Savings

One of the easiest ways to save money at the pump is to cruise your way through the day.  Meaning - don’t punch it!  Accelerating heavily from the stop sign significantly reduces your fuel efficiency wasting gas and putting extra wear and tear on your car.  When coming to a complete stop, let the engine do the work to slow you down instead of speeding to the stop sign and then pushing hard on the brakes. This will lower your fuel costs and reduce the amount of brake maintenance needed for your vehicle.

Also, driving closer to the speed limit will improve your miles per gallon (mpg).  If you drive 65 mph instead of 75 mph you can reduce your fuel costs by up to 13%. Use the cruise control setting on long drives to maintain your speed, and to keep you from pushing 75 mph. Remove the setting on hilly terrain as it is often more fuel intensive for your engine to maintain the same speed when going up or down hills.

Maintain Your Ride

Servicing your vehicle regularly can help save you money on fuel costs. For gas vehicles, make sure your oil and air filter are changed when due and keep the engine tuned (if you have an electric vehicle you don’t need to worry about this!)  For all vehicles, make sure your tires are properly maintained. Check your tire pressure and wheel alignment once per month, especially before long journeys as under-inflated tires can increase fuel consumption by as much as 6%. In fact, it has been estimated that if everyone in the U.S. properly inflated their tires then we would save up to 1.2 billion gallons of gas a year.  

To inflate your tires, first check the correct tire pressure needed for your vehicle by looking in the owner’s manual or on the yellow sticker inside the door jamb on the driver’s side. Second, check your tire pressure when the tires are cold, early in the morning or before driving as the tires heat up changing the internal pressure. It’s easy to inflate your tires, most gas stations have air gauges and pumps that you can use, though buying your own gauge is extremely convenient and only costs around $10. Under-inflated tires not only increase fuel costs but also accelerate wear and tear on your tires, causing you to need to replace them more often!

AC and Drag

When traveling at speeds below 60 mph open your windows for air instead of turning on the AC. Above speeds of 60 mph, it is actually more efficient to turn on the AC rather than open the windows as the wind resistance causes drag, making your vehicle exert more energy to maintain the same speed. Try to park in the shade on hot days when possible to lower your AC use. On a similar note, roof racks also increase drag and thus should be removed when not in use. This will also reduce the weight of your vehicle, which increases fuel efficiently. An extra 100 pounds in your vehicle could reduce your MPG by about 1-2%, so remove any unnecessary items when possible.  

Reduce Idling

If you have a gas vehicle, idling wastes gas and produces a significant amount of climate and air pollution. If you know you will be stopped for more than 30 seconds, turn off your vehicle or put it in neutral to turn off your engine.