Fuel-Saving Hacks for Small Van Owners: Boosting MPG to the Max

Toyota Electric Van Lease

Fuel-Saving Hacks for Small Van Owners: Boosting MPG to the Max

With fuel costs on an incessant upswing, small van owners are finding themselves at the crossroads of economic prudence and environmental responsibility. Especially, when you’re running a small business with a fleet of small vans, the rising fuel costs can add up and eat into your bottom line.

But the good news is, the roadblock can eliminated to a major extent by maximizing the van’s MPG (Miles Per Gallon). In this article, we’ll delve into a toolkit of fuel-saving hacks for van owners to help them boost their vehicle’s MPG, save more money in the long run, and contribute to a greener planet. Take a look-

Top Fuel-Saving Hacks for Van Owners

1.  Work on Your Driving Habits

The best way to save money on gas is to improve your driving habits. From the way you drive the van to the speeds at which you prefer driving, there are several aspects that have a direct impact on the van’s MPG. Here are some tips that could help-

  • Aggressive driving, such as rapid acceleration and abrupt braking, can significantly reduce your van’s MPG. Rather, try to drive smoothly and steadily to boost fuel economy and also enhance road safety.
  • Excessive idling, such as leaving the engine running while parked, also results in unnecessary fuel drain and should be avoided.
  • Driving at high speeds increases wind resistance and leads to higher fuel consumption. Try to stay within the speed limit for better fuel economy.
  • Carrying unnecessary items in the van increases its weight, requiring more fuel to move the vehicle. Regularly declutter the van and only carry essential items to boost MPG.

2.  Regular Van Maintenance

Regular maintenance is crucial for optimal fuel efficiency and the overall health of your vehicle. Here are some key points you should keep in mind-

  • Regularly check and replace air filters as clogged filters restrict airflow and impact engine performance. Ultimately, this leads to higher fuel consumption.
  • Change engine oil as per the manufacturer’s recommendation. Clean oil will reduce engine friction, allowing it to operate more efficiently and boost fuel efficiency.
  • Periodically clean the fuel system, including fuel injectors and the throttle body. A cleaner fuel system will promote improved combustion, resulting in improved fuel efficiency.
  • Check coolant levels at regular intervals and ensure the radiator is in good condition. A properly functioning cooling system protects the engine from overheating and consuming more fuel.

3.  Proper Tire Maintenance

Tire maintenance deserves special mention due to the vast impact it can have on your van’s MPG, vehicle health, and your driving experience. Watch out for these van tire maintenance tips-

  • Underinflated tires create more rolling resistance, requiring more fuel for moving the vehicle. Owners should regularly check and maintain proper tire pressure as recommended by the manufacturer.
  • Ensure that the tires are properly balanced and aligned. Correctly inflated and aligned tires can improve MPG by several percentage points.
  • If you have a spare set of tires, store them properly in a cool and dry place away from direct sunlight. Properly stored tires maintain their integrity and contribute to improved fuel economy when installed.
  • Conduct a visual inspection of tires regularly and look for signs of uneven wear, cuts, bulges, or other damage. Address any issue promptly to prevent further damage.

4.  Select the Right Engine Oil

One of the top fuel-saving hacks for van owners is using the correct grade of motor oil recommended by the manufacturer. This simple step can contribute to improved MPG and overall engine performance. Here are some expert tips for choosing the right motor oil-

  • Always refer to the van’s owner’s manual for the manufacturer’s recommended oil specifications. It’ll provide detailed information on oil type, viscosity, and other specific requirements for the vehicle.
  • Assess your typical driving conditions before making the decision. If you frequently drive in extreme temperatures or engage in heavy hauling or towing, synthetic oil might offer better protection.
  • If you have an older small van or one with higher mileage, a synthetic blend or high mileage motor oil with additives can help protect the engine and reduce wear.
  • If you’re uncertain about the best oil for your van, consult with a trusted mechanic or the dealership. They can offer personalized recommendations based on your vehicle’s specific requirements.

5.  Plan the Routes Efficiently

If your goal is to boost MPG, strategic route planning can deliver excellent results. Try to plan the journeys in advance so that you can choose routes that minimize fuel consumption while saving time and reducing overall vehicle wear and tear. Here are some tips that should help-

  • Thanks to modern technologies, we now have navigation apps that can provide real-time traffic updates. Use apps like Google Maps or dedicated GPS devices to find the fastest and most fuel-efficient routes.
  • Plan the routes to avoid peak traffic hours. Stop-and-go traffic not only wastes time but also increases fuel consumption.
  • Whenever possible, opt for routes that include highways instead of congested city streets. Highways generally allow for smoother and more fuel-efficient driving, especially at consistent speeds.
  • Plan the routes with fuel stations in mind. Refuel at locations where fuel prices are competitive, and consider using loyalty programs or discount cards to save on fuel costs.

6.  Aerodynamic Adjustments

Another best way to save on gas is by adjusting the aerodynamics of your small van. While these adjustments might seem minor, they can have a noticeable impact on fuel efficiency over time. Consider these tips to improve the aerodynamics of your vehicle-

  • Most small vans generally have roof racks or carriers which create additional drag and reduce fuel efficiency. When not in use, remove the roof racks to streamline the van’s profile.
  • When driving at high speeds, keep the windows closed as it helps in reducing drag.
  • When choosing accessories for your small van, opt for aerodynamically designed products. For instance, you can now find deflectors, side mirrors, etc., specifically designed to reduce wind resistance and boost fuel efficiency.
  • The front air dam or spoiler is effective in redirecting airflow and reducing turbulence under the van to improve aerodynamics. The adjustment is particularly effective at higher speeds.

7.  Explore Alternative Fuels or Switch to an Electric Van

If you’re about to purchase a new small van, you can think about choosing one powered by alternative fuels like CNG (Compressed Natural Gas). Compared to traditional fuels, CNG is not only cheaper but also contributes to a cleaner environment.

Alternatively, you can also consider purchasing an electric or a hybrid van. While a pure electric van is powered by batteries, hybrid vans can use batteries as well as fuel. Here are some points you should keep in mind before purchasing an electric van-

  • While electric vans eliminate the need for using fuel, they are generally more expensive than fuel-powered vans. So, think about your budget before making a decision.
  • You should also think about how far and how often you travel when using the van. For instance, if you run a small business where your vans generally travel over 70 miles per day, an electric van might not be a very practical option as you’ll have to stop the vehicle multiple times to recharge the battery.
  • It is generally seen that the most popular electric vans currently available in the market, like Nissan eNV200 and Renault Kangoo ZE, are quite small and might not be the best choice for a business fleet. While there are a few 3.5-tonners, they’re priced at a premium.
  • If you’d like to purchase an electric van for your business, you might be eligible for government grants and incentives. Visit the official government websites for the latest updates.

8.  Educate Your Drivers

One of the most effective ways to save gas if you’re a business owner with a fleet of small vans is to educate your drivers in fuel-saving practices. Here are some tips you should consider for educating your drivers-

  • Implement training programs that emphasize the importance of mindful driving, regular maintenance, and efficient route planning.
  • Clearly communicate the importance of fuel efficiency to the drivers. Help them understand how it directly affects the company’s bottom line, reduces environmental impact, and contributes to overall fleet sustainability.
  • Create incentive programs that reward drivers for achieving and maintaining high levels of fuel efficiency.
  • Offer regular feedback to drivers based on fuel efficiency data. Highlight specific areas where improvements can be made and provide resources for additional training as needed.

 

Small Vans, Big Fuel Savings

Maximizing fuel efficiency to minimize operating costs and environmental footprint can be challenging for small van owners, especially when you’re a business owner with a fleet of multiple vehicles. But by implementing a combination of these fuel-saving hacks for van owners, you can notice a significant improvement in MPG and save more money.

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