January 3, 2017 3:31 pm
Updated: January 4, 2017 8:34 am

Drivers can do these 5 things to conserve fuel amid Alberta’s carbon tax

A driver gets gas in Calgary on Monday, Jan. 2, 2017.

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Drivers frustrated by a spike in gas prices due to Alberta’s new carbon tax can still save a few cents by adopting some minor changes to their driving habits.

READ MORE: Gas prices are rising – Here’s how it will make living in Canada more expensive

The Alberta Motor Association (AMA) is offering drivers some tips on improving their fuel efficiency:

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Make sure your vehicle is properly maintained

“Something like a clogged air filter can reduce your gas mileage by as much as 10 per cent,” AMA driver education manager Ron Wilson said. “So make sure your vehicle is properly tuned.”

In addition, Wilson said improperly inflated tires can increase fuel consumption by as much as four per cent.

Plug in your vehicle

“Make sure in this cold weather that you plug your vehicle in,” Wilson warned. “When it gets below -15 C you should plug your vehicle in two hours before you need to use it.”

“You’ll save fuel that way, because you vehicle won’t have to work as hard.”

Don’t idle

Running your vehicle while it’s stopped eats up fuel quickly.

“Start your vehicle, get in it and drive it. It’s going to drive the most efficiently that way.”

“With new vehicles nowadays we basically just need to start them and drive.”

Slow and steady

Hard starts and stops can increase fuel consumption significantly.

“Try and have smooth driving,” Wilson advised. “Smooth braking and smooth acceleration.”

Wilson suggests looking ahead and planning your stops ahead of time.

Lighten the load

Don’t leave heavy items like sporting equipment in your vehicle, which can increase your fuel consumption.

“This time of year people will carry things they really don’t need [in their vehicle] like skis or a snowboard that sort of thing,” Wilson said. “In the summer time, people carry around golf clubs. Unless you’re using it, don’t carry extra weight.”

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