Local EcoDriver Programs

EcoDriver delivery agents offer presentations, information displays and booths in several Ontario communities.

Collingwood: Environment Network
Durham Region: Durham Sustain Ability
Hamilton and Halton: Green Venture
Peel: Community Environment Alliance
Thunder Bay: Eco Superior
Toronto: Toronto Green Community
York Region: Windfall Ecology Centre
North Bay: Greening Nipissing

Tips for Fuel-Efficient Driving

When it comes to how we drive, the difference between the most fuel-efficient and least fuel-efficient drivers on the road is in the range of 35%, and a poorly tuned vehicle can create up to 50% more emissions and use considerably more gas.

Follow these easy driving tips to get the most mileage out of your vehicle – and save money - while reducing carbon dioxide emissions at the same time.

Simple ways to save on the road

With simple changes to driving habits, most drivers can save 10 to 15% on gas.   MORE

  • Slow Down and Save:
    For every 10 km/h you go over 100, fuel efficiency drops by 10%. Driving 120 on the highway instead of 100 is like paying 20% extra for gas.
  • Easy on the Pedal:
    Jackrabbit starts from one stoplight to the next save only 2.5 minutes per hour, but increase fuel consumption by 37%.
  • Slow Down and Save:
    On the highway, keeping a steady speed uses less fuel. Accelerate smoothly and avoid hard braking by leaving room between your car and the one in front.
  • Be Idle Free:
    Just ten seconds of idling uses more fuel than restarting the engine. In ten minutes the average car will burn through 300 ml of fuel - almost 1/3 of a litre.
  • Warm Up on the Go:
    Today's cars shouldn't be idled to warm up, and too much idling can cause damage. Driving gently for the first few minutes lets your transmission, steering, and engine all warm up at once.
  • Combine Trips:
    Trips under 5 km are the most polluting because the engine and the pollution control system never reach peak operating temperature. Combining several trips into one can cut fuel use and emissions by 20 to 50%.
  • Travel Light:
    Every extra hundred pounds reduces fuel efficiency by up to 2%, so keep your trunk clear of unnecessary items, and in the winter remove all snow and ice.
  • Make the Most of Your Transmission:
    Using overdrive at high speeds saves fuel and reduces engine wear. With a manual transmission, shifting up gently but quickly to higher gears allows the engine to work more efficiently.
  • Use a Fuel Consumption Display:
    If your car comes with a consumption computer, use it to get instant feedback on fuel use. Drivers who learn to adjust their habits have saved up to 10% this way. If your vehicle doesn't have one, they're easy to install. The ScanGuage II is one model you can order online.

Maintain and Save

Regardless of the age and type of vehicle you drive, keeping it in top condition makes a significant difference in its fuel-efficiency.   MORE

  • Tire Pressure:
    Just one tire under-inflated by 8 psi can increase fuel consumption by 4%, and reduce the life of the tire by 15,000km. Check the pressure once a month.
  • Motor Oil:
    Using worn-out oil, or the wrong grade of oil, can increase fuel use by 2%. Change it regularly with the grade listed in your owners' manual. "Energy Conserving" brands can reduce friction, improving efficiency even more.
  • Air Filter:
    Fuel use can increase up to 10% when the air filter is clogged, because not enough air makes it to the combustion chambers. Check it on the same schedule as you change the oil, or more often if you travel on dusty roads.
  • Tune Ups:
    Keeping your vehicle in tune can reduce fuel consumption by up to 15% and smog causing emissions by even more. Follow the schedule in your owners' manual.

More fuel-efficiency factors

For those who want to go all the way, here are other things you can do to save on gas.   MORE

  • Roof racks:
    A loaded roof rack can increase fuel use by as much as 5% because of drag, and even empty racks add to drag, so take them off when not in use.
  • Travel light:
    An extra 100 pounds can reduce fuel efficiency by up to 2%, so don't forget to take the golf clubs out of the trunk.
  • Air conditioning:
    Major electronics like TVs, seat warmers, and AC all add a drain on the battery and make the engine work harder. At city speeds you'll save fuel by rolling down the windows instead of using the AC (though on the highway open windows add enough drag to make the difference negligible.)
  • Cruise control:
    Using cruise control on flat terrain improves fuel efficiency, because it helps you maintain a steady speed, and also prevents you from accidentally speeding. On hills though, it's best to turn it off.
  • Use a block heater:
    In winter weather using a block heater to pre-heat your car can improve overall fuel efficiency by as much as 10%. But use a timer: it only takes two hours for the block heater to warm the engine up.

 

Download "Driving Tips" Flyer Adobe PDF Adobe PDF (51 KB)