BC Highway

Valley Driving School Blog

Top 6 Tips for Saving Fuel

With fuel costs rising and the effect of fossil fuels becoming more and more apparent, using less fuel can have a great impact on your wallet and on our planet. In today’s blog post, we will be discussing tips to save fuel even while you’re on the go.

6. Following Distance

Part of commuting anywhere in the Lower Mainland is handling the rush-hour traffic but avoiding that constant stop-and-go of traffic jams is a great way to increase your fuel economy. By increasing your following distance and allowing the space between you and the vehicle in front of you to open up, you can increase your reaction time and therefore, decrease the amount of braking and accelerating you’ll be doing. Instead of having to apply the brakes every time the car in front of you does and then having to accelerate back up to speed, you can ease off the throttle and allow your vehicle to naturally slow down so you don’t have as much speed to make up. Not only will this save you some fuel, but it will also save your patience as you can remove some of the frustration that comes with constantly having to brake.


5. Consistency

An easy start to saving fuel economy is changing your driving style. Maintaining even throttle pressure will mean less engine revving, which will cut down on the fuel pushed to the engine. When you need to increase your speed, apply gentle and even pressure on the accelerator which will allow you to gradually increase your speed without draining your fuel supply. This driving technique will also give you and your passengers a smoother ride!


4. Avoid the Air Conditioner

When you’re stopped in the evening commute on the way home and the sun is beating down on you, it’s tempting close up the windows and turn on the faithful A/C. This seems like a great option, until you learn that having the air conditioner running can lower you fuel economy by as much as 3 miles per gallon! If it isn’t scorching outside, your fuel budget will be better off with just using the fan without the A/C on. As a side note - having your windows down will affect your wind resistance when travelling at higher speeds, so whether the best option is to have a natural or an artificial breeze will vary on your route!


3. Lose the Weight

Keeping your vehicle as light as possible will also help save your fuel because the heavier the vehicle, the more power and fuel is required to make it move. You can lighten your load by removing some of the seasonal extras like roof racks and utility racks, or by removing unneeded items from recent shopping trips like landscaping or gardening material. Smaller items can make a difference too, and keeping your vehicle cleaned out and tidy can eliminate the weight (and grunge) that can linger! Check out our Spring Cleaning blog post for tips on keeping your vehicle clean.


2. Oil Changes

Keeping your vehicle’s interior and exterior cleaned out can save you fuel, but did you know that keeping your oil fresh can too? As oil ages, it thickens and won’t run through the engine as well as a fresh batch will. With the engine running at top performance, you can be assured that it will run economically as well. There’s no need to change your oil any sooner than is recommended by the manufacturer, but this is just another reason to stay on schedule!


1. Turn Off Your Vehicle

We know that not having your vehicle running will save you money – no idling means no fuel being used! If you’re sitting still for more than 10 seconds, you’ll burn more fuel than it takes to start up the ignition. We certainly don’t recommend turning off your vehicle when sitting at a red light, but if you’re stuck in a drive-thru line-up or in a parking lot waiting for someone to grab something from a store, switch that ignition off and save yourself the fuel! Idling away not only uses up fuel, but also puts out unnecessary C02 emissions. 


Bonus Myth-Buster!

A commonly thought way to save on fuel economy is by accelerating slowly. While this may have been the case years ago or with older vehicles, newer vehicles are made to save fuel as you enter higher gears, so once you make it to a higher gear you start to save fuel. The sooner you get to these gears, the more you can save!


Fuel costs are never a safe bet, but you can make small changes to your driving style and habits to make your dollar stretch a bit farther. Track your fuel consumption and economy to find what makes the most impact for you.

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The kind of service I received from Valley driving was excellent and of high caliber.  I did the entire program and all of it was useful to helping me pass my exam.  My experience with my instructor is to be commended immensely.  He was patient and helpful as I learned to drive, and without him I likely would not have passed that road test!  I'm thoroughly impressed by Valley Driving as a business and would like all of you to know that I appreciate how well each of you do your work.  Thanks!”



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