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Buy a Fuel Efficient Car

American Government Special Collections Reference Desk

Buy a Fuel Efficient Car

Dennis James
February 15, 2008

With the ever high rising fuel prices, a car’s consumption is one of the most looked at specifications. No matter if you are looking for a new car or a second hand one, a car which is fuel efficient is desirable. Choosing a car that is more fuel efficient will save you a lot of money during its lifespan. The fuel consumption will vary greatly from one car to another, from one class to the other. When you buy a car you will receive the EPA ratings for both the city and the highway miles per gallon. However these numbers are achieved in special conditions and you may never obtain them.

There are a lot of things you have to be aware of when you want to buy a fuel efficient car. You can start asking the people around you what mileage they obtain from their cars. You can also consult with web sites and specialized forums to see what performances other people are getting from their car.

Before buying a car, think well about your necessities. Buying a bigger car will most surely involve higher gas consumptions, because bigger cars are heavier and thus have more powerful engines. After you have selected the group of vehicles you want to chose your car from (small ones, SUVs, compact or mid-seize cars), find the one that is the most fuel efficient. There are online sites which will help you compare numbers of different types of cars.

Another element which can determine your car’s fuel efficiency is the type of transmission that is equipped with. The general rule states that a car with a manual transmission is more fuel efficient than an automated one. The best option for a fuel efficient car is one with a manual transmission, overdrive and shift indicator or tachometer. If you go for the automatic one, be sure that it will have the largest amount of gears.

Another relevant aspect when it comes to fuel efficiency is the size of the car and the engine’s capacity. Usually smaller engines will be friendlier with your fuel bill. The bigger the engine will be, the more the number of cylinders is, the greater the fuel consumption. Smaller engine cars will also be cheaper than one equipped with a large engine. But there are certain scenarios in which a car with a bigger engine will prove itself more economical than one having a smaller one. When you need you car to do a lot of heavy work or tow heavy loads, you will be better off with a bigger engine, as a smaller one will be more stressed to cope with the heavier load.

In modern cars there are not big differences the fuel consumption rates between a car with front wheel drive and one with rear wheel drive.

The options you equip your car with can also be elements contributing to the amount of fuel consumed by your car. Things such as seat heaters, power windows and air conditioning consume a certain amount of fuel. Indeed, it is not great, but will lower your car’s fuel efficiency. Dennis runs Car Dealer Check which has independent Car Dealer Reviews written by the car dealerships customers and a Car Forum.



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