With prices at the gas pump continuing their wild price fluctuations (generally upward), consumers are demanding more fuel-efficient vehicle choices. Fortunately, a company like Kia has responded by offering fuel efficient options that do not compromise on performance. Improving fuel economy may seem like a simple task, but the results can make a significant difference on your wallet. If you combine the following - alter your driving style, modify your driving mentality and maintain your vehicle - you should start seeing improvements right away.
Anticipation: Look at the road ahead, and the farther ahead you can anticipate the better. Manouver yourself into position for turn-lanes earlier and avoid unnecessary acceleration/braking to get in front or behind traffic. The sooner you anticipate stops or slow-downs the more readily you can take your foot off the gas pedal and coast rather than accelerating and coming to an abrupt stop. You can idle forward in 'drive' for reasonable distance (without braking) and use less fuel than sitting stopped in 'drive', and nearly the same fuel use as sitting in Park.
Acceleration: Being the fastest 'off-the-line' from a full stop will result in a quicker trip to the gas station. More conservative use of accelerator will force the transmission to shift up to higher gears at slower speeds, help the engine not work as hard and save a lot of fuel.
Idling: Engines typically only need a short period of time to warm-up, and idling your engine for too long costs more fuel than re-starting it. Avoid drive-thru(s) wherever possible. If you must idle in a vehicle equipped with automatic transmission, put it in 'Neutral' or 'Park'. Moving the transmission out of 'drive' will cut idling fuel usage by as much as 15-35% (depending on the vehicle). In a manual transmission vehicle, to avoid rolling back, use the brake not a combination of clutch and accelerator. That practice will not only save fuel but extend the life of the clutch.
Cruise Control: Simply put, it's proven to save fuel - use it.
Gear Selection: If you have an automatic with overdrive, use it. If you have a manual transmission, shift early to keep engine RPMs lower, and on the highway be sure to use the highest gear.
Speed Limits: A non-hybrid vehicle is at its most fuel efficient doing highway cruising speeds. However, as you increase speed over 100 km/hr, the engine works harder and wind resistance starts to effect fuel consumption. Estimates are that every km/hr over 100 km/hr costs about 1% in fuel economy.
Tires: Wider, taller tires and more aggressive tread patterns can be esthetically pleasing, and, when chosen properly, can provide increased safety, but they can also negatively affect fuel economy with increased resistance to the road.
Route Planning: Be mindful of traffic patterns and the time of day in order to pick routes that will yield better fuel economy. Naturally, smoother flowing traffic that runs at highway speeds where cruise control can be used is largely responsible for better fuel economy than stop-and-go rush hour grid-lock.
Fewer Trips: Planning to combine multiple trips into one outing will not only reduce the kilometers you drive, but will yield better fuel economy by cutting down on the number of times the vehicle is started up and driving around while not at its most efficient.
Destination Selection: Driving to your farthest point first will help the vehicle warm up, and get the engine and transmission to its highest efficiency. As you make other stops, the vehicle will be warmer and operate with more efficiency.
Snow Removal: It's a minor hindrance to remove, especially in sub-zero temperatures, but removing it saves fuel. Snow and ice increases wind resistance and add unnecessary weight - both decreasing fuel efficiency.
Block Heater: A warm engine is a more efficient engine. Starting your vehicle in the winter, allowing it to idle, warms the vehicle and engine, but cuts fuel efficiency. Instead, consider installing a block heater. It will keep the engine warmer when you need to start your day or hit the road.
Air Conditioning: In city settings, it's more fuel efficient to use the vents and roll the windows down. However, at highway speeds, because of increased wind resistance, rolling the windows down will cost you more fuel than using an air conditioner.
Window Tint: There are several benefits from window tint: privacy, sportiness and reduced heat. The first two advantages are more safety/visual upgrades, but the reduction in heat can lessen the load on your air conditioning system. Any time the air conditioner is used less, the better your fuel economy will be
Interior Vents: If your vehicle acts primarily as a one-person commuter car, rather than cool the entire interior, close the passenger vents and focus the air conditioning on just you.
Shaded Areas: Parking your vehicle in shaded areas will help reduce the load on the air conditioner when cooling the vehicle's interior. Also, and to a lesser extent, the hotter a fuel tank gets, the more gas you lose to evaporation.
Filling Up: It may not be a fuel saving tip per say, but fuel efficiency is all about saving money. Pay special attention to when gas stations typically have their lowest prices (some people report Wednesday mornings), and take advantage whenever possible. Also, keep an ear to the ground about expected price increases or be mindful of when prices have historically been known to go up (ie. long weekends/holidays).
Gas: Your Kia gets the performance it's rated for with regular fuel. If you don't need premium, don't spend the extra money. If you are concerned about the lack of cleaning agents or the dirtiness in regular grade fuels consider a fuel additive periodically to clean your fuel system. A bottle of additive every so often will cost a lot less than filling up every time with premium grade fuels.
Weight: Clean out your vehicle and remove any unneeded or unnecessary items from your vehicle to reduce the vehicle's weight. The more weight your vehicle carries around the harder the engine needs to work and use more fuel.
Alternate Transportation: Carpool, bike, walk, take public transportation or use some other form to reach your destination if and when possible.
Work-Hours: Some companies allow employees to move their work-hours to accommodate different needs/schedules. If that is an option available to you, try avoiding work-hours that result in heavier stop-and-go traffic. Not sitting in grid-lock will not only reduce stress, but also help increase fuel economy.
Vacation Rental: It's not uncommon for people to rent cars when going on long vacations where driving is involved. It's an even better option if your other vehicle isn't a Kia and carries the tag 'gas guzzler'. A fuel efficient vehicle, when discounted weekly rental rates and better fuel economy are factored in, may pay for itself while allowing your other vehicle to sit at home and not accumulate heavy increased mileage.
Fuel Economy Display: As more and more vehicles come equipped with on-board trip computers, consider keeping one of the available display options constantly on-screen: average fuel economy. Many Orangeville Kia drivers have noted that seeing the consequences of their driving and how it effects their fuel economy played a role in developing more frugal and conservative driving habits.
Engine: At times, check engine lights come on that seemingly have little bearing on the way a vehicle drives and operates. However, even though a drive drives normally, it may be wasting fuel. A prime example: faulty oxygen sensors could be costing between 5-15% in fuel economy. With Kia's lengthy comprehensive warranty (5-years / 100,000km) there is no need to drive around wasting fuel and money. In addition, not maintaining a vehicle and tuning it per Kia's recommended maintenance schedule will decrease fuel economy by as much as 10-20%.
Engine Airflow: A clean air filter better allows air to enter the engine, allowing it to run more efficiently. A dirty filter reduces the amount of air that can enter the engine and raises your fuel bill. If you haven't replaced it recently have your air filter checked during your next oil change.
Engine Air Outflow: Bad exhausts systems increase "backpressure" which cut down on horsepower, torque and fuel-economy. Ensure that your exhaust system is in good working order. Louder than normal exhausts are a good sign something is off.
AWD: Don't lock 'on' AWD when it's not necessary. For Kia's equipped with AWD, the on-demand system will turn on as required allowing you to drive around safely in front-wheel drive mode the majority of the time to save fuel and decrease unneeded wear and tear.