There is one activity that is the number one gas robbing activity. It is a constant battle to minimize this problem. Every day you drive your car you face this problem. The greatest gas robbing problem is: allowing your car to run when your car is not moving. To state it more simply, allowing your car to idle.
Idling is the greatest single factor in decreasing your fuel economy. When you are stopped and your car is running you are getting zero miles per gallon. To emphasize this I repeat: When your car is idling you are getting ZERO MILES PER GALLON! If you are on the freeway for 15 minutes and getting 20 miles per gallon, and all of a sudden traffic stops and you idle without moving for 15 minutes your average miles per gallon just dropped from 20 down to 10. The longer you idle, the worse your average fuel economy gets. There are several factors that contribute to conditions that cause you to waste fuel idling.
The biggest culprits are red lights. Every time you stop at a red light, you are forced to idle your car and burn gas at a rate of zero miles per gallon. Please note that I am not advocating not stopping at red lights! I am just pointing out one condition causing idling. Another factor that contributes to situations of excessive idling is rush hour. The high volume of traffic on the road during rush hour forces you to drive slower and stop more often.
As a result you end up idling more during rush hour than in non rush hour periods. The red light problem becomes exaggerated during rush hour. Because there is higher traffic volume in the rush hour period, you have to spend more time at red lights. For example, you may be able to make it through a red light in one cycle during normal driving conditions, but that same red light may take two, three or even four cycles to get through in the rush hour period.
Your idling time is thereby increased two, three or even four times. All that increased idling is robbing you of fuel, and lowering your average miles per gallon. In addition to red lights and rush hour there is one more major cause of idling time. The dreaded orange barrels.
Road construction that slows and stops traffic increases your idle time. Of course, rush hour also exacerbates this problem causing even more traffic delays and more idling. In order to fight this gas robbing condition, you need to plan your trips to avoid these situations as much as possible.
Plan your routes to minimize red lights. Try and avoid lights that you know require long waits. Plan to avoid areas where you know there is construction. Try the best that you can to avoid driving during rush hour. Stay later at work, arrive earlier at work. If you can, try to stagger your regular work hours.
Minimizing situations where you have to sit idling your car will help you maintain better gas mileage. Avoiding as many idle producing situations as possible will go a long way towards getting better fuel economy, thereby saving you gas and saving you money.
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