It's incredible how, with three simple rules, you can save so much on fuel.
With prices at the pump this high, there’s no better time to start. Reduce idling, maintain your vehicles, drive less aggressively.
These actions help us save fuel and reduce our carbon footprint.
Why do it?
- Save money
- Breathe fresher air
- Spare our climate and air
- Reduce wear and tear on your engine
Reduce Idle Time
Shutting off your engine (except when stopped in traffic) is better than letting your vehicle idle for longer than 10 seconds.
- Idling produces unnecessary pollution that contributes to climate change, smog and health problems. This pollution directly affects the health of our children and other vulnerable members of our community.
- Idling wastes fuel and is a complete waste of money. Letting your car idle burns gasoline needlessly and gets you zero kilometres to the litre.
- Idling is not good for vehicle engines. Contrary to popular belief, most modern engines experience MORE wear-and-tear by being allowed to idle for extended periods of time. (Source: Natural Resources Canada.)
There's a common misconception that idling is good for your engine, or is necessary to warm up your vehicle. This is not the case. Natural Resources Canada corrects these myths in our DriveSmart Brochure.
Responsible DrivingOver-acceleration burns more fuel.
- Aggressive driving tactics, like over-acceleration and sharp braking on a regular basis, put unnecessary wear and tear on your vehicle and increase the level of auto emissions in the atmosphere
- Idling your vehicle with the air conditioner on (to keep the interior cool) can increase emissions by 13%. Use your car's air conditioner as little as possible, as it uses more than 4 litres of gasoline for each full tank you burn
- Don't carry unnecessary excess weight in the trunk of your car. Excess weight increases fuel consumption and adds emissions to the atmosphere
- Plan errands to make several stops rather than making several trips. This shortens total distance and keeps the car's catalytic converter hot for the whole trip. The catalytic converter is most effective when it's hot, so you pollute least after 10 minutes of operation
- Don't waste fuel by sitting in the drive-through lane at your favourite fast-food outlet. Park and go inside instead
Vehicle MaintenanceMaintenance improves fuel efficiency.
- Change your oil and check your exhaust system regularly, as a poorly tuned engine uses up to 15 percent more energy when idling than a well-tuned vehicle
- When you fill up stop after the first or second "click" of the nozzle's automatic shut-off. Letting the fuel overflow wastes money, is a fire hazard, can damage the car's paint and pollutes the air as it evaporates
- Keep your tires inflated at or near the manufacturer's maximum recommended level to achieve optimum fuel economy
- Use tires designed to improve fuel economy. Check for reduced rolling resistance in the tire tread design.
- In summer, try using water with a bit of dish soap instead of windshield-washer antifreeze. This would help to reduce hydrocarbon evaporation which contributes to smog
Want to Do More?
- Visit Natural Resource Canada's Fuel Consumption Ratings web page to search for the most efficient passenger vehicles sold in Canada
- Consider the purchase of a battery electric, fuel-cell electric, plug-in hybrid electric or a hydrogen fuel cell vehicle. The Clean Energy Vehicle for BC is an incentive program for new alternative fuel vehicle purchases.
- Consider the purchase of a conventional vehicle with a manual transmission. A manual transmission with overdrive, combined with a tachometer or shift indicator, uses 5 to 10% less fuel compared to automatic transmission, especially in small cars having a four-cylinder engine
Learn About the Program:
On January 17, 2005 Burnaby City Council approved the creation of a new education-based initiative to raise awareness for the need to reduce unnecessary vehicle idling in Burnaby. This initiative is intended to complement senior government programs to limit the production of greenhouse gas emissions, such as CO2 – a major contributor to global climate change.
In Fall of 2005, the City of Burnaby launched the DriveSmart Program - a program to help City staff, residents and commercial vehicle operators become more conscious of their vehicles’ fuel use. The primary focus of the DriveSmart Program is to raise awareness of unnecessary vehicle idling – that is, idling that is not required for our safety, or for the safe operation of vehicles or equipment. The secondary focus of the DriveSmart program is to raise awareness of good driving and vehicle maintenance practices that will further reduce fuel use and air emissions.
- Climate Change (Metro Vancouver)
- Climate Change (BC Climate Exchange)
- Climate Change in Canada (Natural Resources Canada)
- Air Quality and Climate Change (BC Air Quality)
- About Outdoor Air (Canadian Lung Association)
- What Metro Vancouver is Doing
- Environmental and Workplace Health (Health Canada)