Okay, a couple of things need to be said about the title. First, I’ve never, ever, said this to anybody, although I’ve wanted to many, many, times. Second, there are repercussions to saying something like this. Any money you save may be totally offset by medical payments. Third, although getting fat asses out of your car will save you money, this really applies to any and all excess weight in your vehicle since this all affects fuel economy.
Excess Weight Affects Fuel Economy
We all know the formula (at least I hope we do) that force = mass x acceleration. The larger the mass, the more force you need to accelerate said mass. Even if you don’t know this formula, this should make intuitive sense. You can’t travel as far or as fast when you’re carrying something heavy. And without a doubt, fat asses are heavy. So by getting rid of the fat asses (i.e. excess weight), you’ll improve your fuel economy by using less force to move your car!
What Can I Get Rid of to Improve Fuel Economy?
My Audi S3 is relatively light at just under 3,500 lbs. Since I only use it to commute to work, I can get around 30 MPG because, 1) I drive alone to work, and 2) I keep it clean, because I’m a neat freak and cheap AF.
According to the Federal government, you can lose 1% of your fuel economy for every 100 lbs of excess weight. Now, I’m generally skeptical of the government (ask me about my alien conspiracy theories), but this statistic sounds reasonable.
100 lbs. sounds like a lot of stuff, but you’d be surprised how crap in your car can really add up. For example, each 500ml bottle of water weighs about 2 lbs. In my van, I have about 10 of these bottles lying around, because kids get thirsty and thirsty kids do a phenomenal job of letting you know they’re thirsty. That’s 20 lbs right there!
I know some of you reading this have a 24-pack of water in your trunk. That’s 50 lbs alone! And that doesn’t include your jackets, garbage, golf clubs, and other stuff that you’ve been meaning to take out of your car but haven’t had time.
How Much Money Can I Save?
I get around 30 MPG and drive around 12,000 miles per year. At $2.50/gallon, I spend about $1,000 a year on gas. So for every 100 lbs. I take out of my car, I’ll save… $10 per year!
Say your car isn’t as fuel efficient and you do more city driving. If you only get 20 MPG and you still drive 12,000 miles, paying $2.50/gallon, you’d save $15 per year!
Okay, in the grand scheme of things, you’re not going to become a billionaire following this tip. But if you think about it, this is just wasteful. You’re transporting extra weight for no reason, other than the fact that you’re too lazy to take it out of the car. So yes, this is a low priority savings hack. But it’ll only take a few minutes, make the inside of your car look much nicer, and it’s good for the environment!
If you’re looking to save more money with car maintenance, make sure you have the correct tire pressure. When my tires weren’t properly inflated, it was costing me about $150 per year in reduced fuel economy, excluding the additional cost of uneven wear on my tires!