This is the first thread in a series that explore various ways to get better mpg from our wonderful cars. The tips in these threads will focus on modding your own driving techniques to max your mpg.
These tips come from various sources around the net. I did NOT write them. I have compiled them from many different forums and essays, and have been modifying them to suit us and our vehicles. Let me know what you think.
Note: It is my intent that these tips be common sense and not some crap about pushing you car out of your driveway to avoid starting it 20 ft. sooner.
Thread #1- General Info. Setting you and your car up for success.
1) Check tire inflation regularly
Make sure that your tire pressures are, at minimum, set to the specifications on the driverís side door jamb. The higher the pressure, the less rolling resistance.
Remember that pressure is affected by ambient temperature. As temperature drops, so does your tire pressure, so keep track of that DIC display.
2) Track your fuel consumption
One of the first steps in improving efficiency is tracking fuel consumption.
Get in the habit of recording distance travelled on each tank and fuel economy (MPG). Keep a small notebook to record trip type and new techniques employed to monitor your progress.
While the slower pace of tank-to-tank feedback isn't ideal for feedback on driving technique, recording and montoring your "big picture" progress is great motivation.
3) Use your instant mpg display and average mpg display
Feedback is absolutely critical to improving driving habits.
Tank-to-tank monitoring of your consumption is not good enough. You have instrumentation that lets you reset the readout at will so you can track individual trips, or even portions of trips you regularly travel.
Use this practice to gauge what you mpg is in different areas where you drive. This will help you to choose certain roads over another road.
4) You control how accurate your DIC mpg is.
The mpg monitor on your DIC does not update as fast as some aftermarket systems like the Scangauge 2. This is why some people's display is off by less than 1 mpg and others is off by 5 or more. The biggest thing you can do to keep your DIC accurate is to be smooth on the throttle. Change positions slowly and let your Cobalt keep up with you.
5) Leave early and don't rush
The enemy of efficient driving is finding yourself in a rush. Leave for your destination a little early so you don't feel pressure to drive faster, brake later and otherwise fall back into bad habits.
Driving efficiently can be much more relaxing than the typical person's driving style, but you need to allow a bit of extra time.
6) Avoid drive-thrus
Avoid drive thru windows. They lead to excessive idling.
7) Be smooth
Smooth use of the accelerator, steering, transmission and brakes is not only more comfortable for you and your passengers, it's also a little more efficient (less scrubbing of tires, energy lost through suspension movement). It's also better for the longevity of the vehicle and in general a sign of a skilled driver.
Don't keep up with the Ricers
It easy to be competitive when driving. Resist knee-jerk retaliation to other drivers' aggressive actions. Don't let other drivers lead you astray from your driving style.
9) Listen to slower music
Leave the speed metal at home. Fast paced music can make a driver more impatient, more aggressive and likely to speed. At the same time, slower paced music is more relaxing and tends to promote a more sensible driving style while also reducing stress.