Improve Gas Mileage by Changing Your Parking Habits

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by Scott Siegel

There are many easy and simple things you can do to increase your fuel mileage. One of those simple things is to change the way you park.

Is this what you do when enter a parking lot? You enter the lot and the first thing you do is head for the parking area nearest to the entrance to the mall or the store where you are going. There are not any spaces available at the entrance because everyone, like you, tries to find the closest spaces.

Now you do either one of two things or both. You drive up and down the closest rows to see if you can find a spot that is still close to the entrance or you sit and wait for a while to see if any cars will be pulling out of spaces near the entrance.

Both of these behaviors will cost you gas mileage and will cost you money. When you sit and wait to see if anyone will vacate a space you are running your engine but not moving. You are getting zero miles per gallon when you are sitting and idling like that.

If you slowly cruise the parking rows close to the store entrance you are burning fuel. You are get very poor gas mileage when your car is moving slowly. If you stop behind another car that is waiting or as you stop at spaces that might open up, you are idling and getting zero miles per gallon.

Think how much fuel you will burn in a year if you only spend 1 minute a day waiting for a parking space. Assuming 30 days for an average month, to make a simple calculation, and assume you are burning fuel for an extra 60 seconds or one minute each day, then you would be burning fuel for 30 minutes or a half hour each month.

One half hour of burning fuel a month is the equivalent of burning fuel an extra 6 hours per year. Would you ever leave your car sitting and idling for six hours doing nothing but burning fuel? Absolutely not. But in essence you are letting your car sit and idle for 6 hours if your parking habits involve always looking for the closest parking space.

What is the solution to all of this wasted gas? How can you improve gas mileage by changing parking habits? Very simple, park far away from the store or mall entrance. The farther from the entrance you go the more empty parking spaces there are. Chances are that if you, immediately upon entering the parking lot, go to the rows far from the entrance, you will find a place to park right away.

You save all the fuel you would have burned waiting and looking for a close parking spot by parking far away. There is an additional benefit to parking far from the entrance. Not only will you increase fuel mileage and save money but you will get extra exercise by walking the additional distance to the entrance. It’s good for your pocket book and good for your body.

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