Eco Driving

Tips on Eco Driving

Some driving tips can make you an eco driver starting today

Set off just after starting the engine

The longer the warming-up time is, the more fuel will be lost.

Set off just after starting the engine.

If you start engine when it's very cold or if you're starting engine which has not been run for several days or more, wait for some dozens of seconds after starting engine until oil is distributed throughout the engine and then set off.

"Depress accelerator softly for eco-starting"

"Depress accelerator softly for eco-starting" is a motto for increasing fuel efficiency with safe starting. Depress the accelerator softly and accelerate little by little while checking increase in speed.

As a rough guide, accelerate at a rate of 20 km/h for 5 seconds after starting.

Fuel consumption during "Start/acceleration" makes up about 40% of the whole fuel consumption when driving in the city.

When driving in the city, start/acceleration is frequently repeated, which consumes much fuel. Good start/acceleration plays an important role in energy savings. In the case of a car with an eco drive indicator, adjust the accelerator so that the indicator will light.

Breakdown of fuel consumption when driving in the city

Maintain a safe distance between vehicles and avoid changing speeds often

Running at a constant speed of 40 to 50 km/h on an ordinary road or at 80 km/h on an expressway is considered an economical speed.
Running without fluctuations is economical and safe. Aim for eco and safe driving while observing the legal speed.

Fuel efficiency can be improved by 10 to 30% by driving at 80 km/h.

Tips for driving at a constant speed.

  • Look well ahead of you while driving. Keep an eye on the traffic, including cars, signals and traffic congestion, and anticipate what is going to happen.
  • Maintain a safe distance between cars.

* The above value is calculated based on a car of 2,000 cc displacement (AT) with fuel efficiency of 11.7 km/l (10 and 15 mode).
(Survey conducted by Japan Automobile Manufacturers Association Inc.)

Release the accelerator quickly to slow down

As soon as you see a red signal or a stop signal, release the accelerator quickly — while keeping an eye on the distance between your car and the car behind you — to slow down using the engine brake. Stopping the car by stopping fuel injection will improve fuel economy.
Deactivating OD (Over Drive) (e.g.: in the city or gentle descent) or downshifting from the D range to the Second gear range (e.g.: long descent) can be effective for economic slowing down.

Take advantage of stopping fuel injection.

If the accelerator is released when driving at a high speed, the fuel supply to the engine will be halted automatically. Then, when the engine speed is lowered, about as much fuel as will be necessary for idling will be supplied again. This means that releasing the accelerator as early as possible can be a good way of minimizing CO2 as well as fuel consumption.

Take advantage of stopping fuel injection.

Stop wasteful idling

Stop the engine instead of idling, if possible. Stop the engine, even for a short time, such as when stopping by a convenience store, when loading or unloading or when waiting for an empty space in a parking lot. If the engine is running, gasoline will be consumed even if the car is stopped.

If an engine idles for 5 minutes, 65 ml of gasoline will be consumed and 151 g of CO2 will be emitted.

* The above value is calculated based on a car of 2,000 cc displacement (AT) with fuel efficiency of 11.7 km/l (10 and 15 mode).
(Survey conducted by Japan Automobile Manufacturers Association Inc.)

Pay close attention if you turn off the engine at an intersection to manually stop idling as the following safety problems can occur (Note: This is not an issue for cars equipped with stop-start systems).
Depressing the brake pedal several times when the engine is stopped will wear out your brakes.
If you are not familiar with the operation yet, you may make an error or take too much time to restart the engine. Also, the engine may not restart if the life of the battery or other components is low.
Since airbags and other safety equipment will not operate, you should not manually stop idling if you are at or near the front of a line of cars or on a slope.

Use the air conditioner properly

The air conditioner (A/C) cools and dehumidifies your car. When you only need the heater, be sure to switch the A/C to the off position. When you need the A/C, be careful not to overcool the interior of the car.

Example of increase in fuel consumption due to air conditioner

Comparison between on and off settings of air conditioner
(When the preset temperature is 24°C)

Activating the air conditioner increases fuel consumption by as much as 14%, even if ambient temperature is 25°C and air-conditioning load is light (fuel economy is decreased by 12%).

If the ambient temperature is 35°C, which can happen under the scorching sun, and air-conditioning load is heavy, activating the air conditioner increases fuel consumption by 38% (fuel economy is decreased by 28%).

Comparison when the ambient temperature is 35°C
(When the preset temperature is 24°C)

If the REC/FRESH control is set to "FRESH," fuel consumption is increased by 4% compared to when the REC/FRESH control is set to "REC" (fuel economy is decreased by 4%).

If the air volume control is set to "MAX," fuel consumption is increased by 14% compared to when the air volume control is set to "AUTO" (fuel economy is decreased by 12%).

Change of fuel consumption bue to settings of the air conditioner

Adapted from "Smart drive" for 2005 by The Energy Conservation Center, Japan

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