Fuel prices are high nowadays, and it is wise to conserve fuel while driving. If you drive on hills, you know that it uses more fuel. It mainly happens because more power is required to take the car uphill. But is there any way to save fuel while driving on hills? Yes, a few driving habits can save you fuel on your next trip to the hills. But how can you save fuel while driving on hills?
You should accelerate and drive slowly and gently to save fuel while driving on hills. Besides, maintaining a consistent speed and keeping your vehicle light is also helpful. By following these mechanical tips, you can save up to 20 to 25% of your fuel when driving on hills.
This is only a brief explanation of how to have better fuel economy while driving on hills. Stay tuned with me till the end as I discuss everything in detail.
Why do vehicles consume more fuel while driving on hills?
When you are driving up the hill, you are working against gravity. Your vehicle will need to use more power to go up, which is why it consumes more fuel while driving uphill. But driving downhill generally uses less fuel.
Besides, as you get higher on the hills, the oxygen density and air pressure get lower. In consequence, diesel engine combustion deteriorates and reduces thermal efficiency. It leads to poor power output and higher fuel consumption. Not to mention gas engines are believed to use less fuel at high altitudes.
Regardless of what engine you have, you can always save some fuel if you maintain some driving habits. There are a lot of myths about how to increase fuel economy. But today, I will show you the tactics that are guaranteed to work.
How can you save fuel while driving on hills: 7 legitimate tips
You must have heard about a lot of tips on saving fuel while driving on hills. But I bet most of them are false. Then what is correct?
Here are seven tried-and-true tips for saving gas while driving on hills:
1. Slow acceleration
Never put too much pressure on the accelerator, or else the engine will use more fuel. Try to accelerate slowly and gently while driving on hills and it will help you save fuel.
Quick acceleration may increase the speed, but it will also consume more fuel. Hence, try to avoid fast acceleration while driving on hills to make your engine more fuel-efficient.
2. Drive slowly
Driving fast can also lead to high fuel consumption. That is why you should drive a little bit slower on hills to save fuel. But driving too slowly will not help either, as it will not be able to produce enough power to go uphill. Then what is the optimum speed?
50 to 55 mph is the best speed to save fuel while driving on hills. It is neither too fast nor too slow, but good enough to comfortably take you up the hills without wasting much fuel.
3. Maintain a consistent speed
Constantly changing the speed from high to low and low to high hurts fuel consumption. Such a habit will continuously change the combustion process, leading to more work inside the gearbox, which means more fuel.
That’s why you should drive at a consistent speed. I know you may have to change the speed due to the traffic, but try to change it less frequently. As I told you earlier, always try to stay around 50 to 55 mph.
4. Brake less frequently
Excessive braking places undue strain on the engine, causing it to slow and accelerate more frequently. Excess pressure always means more fuel. That is why you should brake only when necessary.
Drivers tend to brake frequently on hills to avoid rolling back. But if you are driving downhill, then you do not have to worry about that. In this case, use the brake only when you must. It will greatly help you save fuel.
5. Avoid using AC
It’s hard to turn off the AC if it’s hot out there. But if you keep the window open and let the airflow into the vehicle, you should not face any problems. I am saying that because using AC increases fuel consumption by 15% to 20%.
You can easily save these fuels by turning off the AC. Because you’re driving up the hills, your car’s engine is already under a lot of strain. Using the AC will put more pressure on it and increase fuel consumption significantly. Do not use the AC unless necessary and you can save a lot of fuel.
6. Keep your vehicle light
The more load you put into your car, the more fuel it will use while driving uphill. Your vehicle is already working against gravity, and when you put heavy loads in it, the extra weight drags the vehicle down. As a result, your car uses more power to stay on track and go upward. It causes higher fuel consumption.
The only solution here is to drop the unnecessary items. You should take only the items that are necessary for trips. In this way, you can save a lot of fuel while driving on hills.
7. Properly inflate the tires
Always keep your tires properly inflated to ensure you do not waste any fuel. Driving with deflated tires or not fully inflated will make it harder to drive. It will put more pressure on the engine, causing higher fuel consumption.
Hence, always inflate the tires and make sure the wheels are aligned properly. It will save you fuel while driving on hills.
Is an automatic car good for hills?
Yes, automatic cars are extremely good for hills. Generally, you will face two problems with manual cars while driving on hills. The first one is that it will consume more fuel, and the second one is the risk of rolling backward while driving uphill.
But the automatic cars are packed with features such as a “creep” function, hill-hold assist, and more that prevent your car from rolling backward and also improve the fuel economy.
1. Does driving in higher gears save fuel?
Yes, driving in high gear saves fuel, but you also need to keep the speed high. If you drive slowly in high gear or fast in lower gear, it will increase fuel consumption.
2. Is it better to go fast or slow up a hill?
It is better to go slowly up a hill to save fuel. But you must not drive too slowly. That’s because if you drive too slowly, it will be harder to move, and the vehicle will waste fuel only to keep the engine running.
3. What is the most fuel-efficient fuel?
Diesel is the most fuel-efficient fuel, with an energy efficiency of 30% to 41%. Comparatively, petrol or gasoline has a fuel energy efficiency of only 20% to 37.3%.
4. Should you slow down when approaching a hill?
Start driving fast when you are going toward a hill. Then, once you approach the hill, you should slow down to avoid putting excess pressure on the engine. It will significantly save you fuel.
5. Should you brake going down a hill?
Yes, you should brake going down a hill if the car goes too fast. The speed will gradually increase while you’re going down a hill and if you do not brake on time, it may go out of control. But it is not necessary to brake too frequently.