How Can You Cut Your Off-Road Vehicle’s Fuel Costs? | GRID Off-Road
Off-roaders always expect to cause some sort of damage to their vehicles when they hit the trails. But these days, the most severe damage happens at the gas pump.
Fuel prices remain incredibly high nationwide, even after a slight drop. Here are five practical ways you can cut your off-road vehicle’s fuel costs.
1. Develop Fuel-Saving Driving Habits
Your vehicle’s mileage can vary widely based on your driving habits. You can’t afford to be wasteful with gas prices at their current levels. Start practicing these fuel-efficient driving habits next time you get behind the wheel:
- Stop idling.
- Follow the speed limit, especially on highways.
- Ease up on the gas and brake pedals.
- Anticipate the flow of traffic to avoid sudden stops.
- Open the windows instead of blasting the A/C.
- Use cruise control on highways if your vehicle has it.
You should also map out the most fuel-efficient route each time you drive. As all off-roaders know, the fastest trail isn’t always the best. A path with many stop signs and red lights might be the quickest, but you’re burning unnecessary fuel every time you stop. Taking roads with fewer stops will save you some gas.
Similarly, a road with a 35-mph speed limit may burn less gas than a road with a 50-mph speed limit. Practicing fuel-efficient driving habits will also help ensure your safety while off-roading in suboptimal conditions.
2. Remove Excess Weight
Your off-road vehicle likely has tools, outdoor gear and other miscellaneous stuff in the trunk. This additional weight forces the car to work harder, needlessly increasing its gas consumption. Removing 100 pounds can save about 1% of fuel per gallon. The improvement doesn’t seem like much in the short term, but it may save you a few hundred dollars in the long run.
However, you shouldn’t ditch everything and go barebones. Hold on to essential items like the spare tire, repair kits and first aid supplies. Safety always comes first.
3. Take Preventative Maintenance Seriously
Your car’s ideal fuel efficiency doesn’t last long — it slowly decreases as it accumulates more damage. That’s why staying on top of key preventive maintenance tasks is critical. Check the tire pressure regularly, change the filters as needed and replace the engine fluids based on the owner’s manual’s suggestions.
Ignoring minor repairs often leads to severe mechanical failures. A total breakdown is the last thing you want while off-roading. If you can’t identify potential problems with the naked eye, consider getting a telematics device. It records your driving behavior, including any actions that may lead to fuel inefficiencies or mechanical issues.
4. Choose the Right Mods
All modifications should improve your car’s off-road performance, but some have the opposite effect on fuel efficiency. Perhaps the most notable example is four-wheel drive, which is more powerful than all-wheel drive on rough terrain but hurts the car’s gas mileage as a result.
Your choice of tires will also make a significant impact. A set of bulky off-roaders with good traction will improve performance, safety and fuel efficiency in one fell swoop. There are several easy mods you can use that might help your vehicle conserve gas. But don’t forget about some GRID Off-Road wheels! You still need your rig to look good and we’ve got plenty of forged off-road wheels and cast off-road wheels to choose from,
5. Avoid the Roughest Trails
Another factor to consider is the quality of the driving surface. A smooth road allows the car to build steady momentum and consume the minimum amount of gas. A bumpy one disrupts that momentum, forcing the engine to work harder and burn more fuel.
Everyone knows there’s no such thing as a smooth off-road trail. Still, you should try to avoid the roughest trails for your vehicle’s sake and take ones that won’t put too much strain on the engine.
Sometimes Money is Everything
People often say, “Money isn’t everything,” but that phrase doesn’t apply here. Gas prices are too high for you to be reckless with your off-road vehicle. Take your car’s fuel costs seriously and start practicing the above five tips.
Author Bio: Oscar Collins is the founder and editor-in-chief at Modded, where he writes about cars, luxury topics and more. Follow him on Twitter @TModded for frequent updates!