An interesting article about the auto start-stop feature got me to thinking about fuel efficiency in funeral cars. In a day when gas prices are hitting near $4 per gallon or more, fuel economy is becoming an increasingly more important concern for all drivers. It should also be an important concern for funeral directors.
When you consider that funeral cars are constantly starting and stopping in traffic, this is very important to talk about.
You park your funeral car, then drive it around to where the pall bearers will load it with a casket. From there you drive to the cemetery. From the funeral home to the cemetery you will undoubtedly stop and restart your vehicle several times – at stop lights, stop signs, in traffic, etc. The auto start-stop feature can increase your fuel efficiency.
The way this feature works is, when you sit idle in your funeral car for more than a few seconds, the vehicle’s engine shuts off. When you accelerate again it restarts. The engine shutting off and coming back on like this will save your fuel.
With Ford Motor Company offering this feature as an option for less than $300, I think this could spell a new direction for the auto industry as a whole, even funeral cars. It’s a system that has many owners of fleet cars – including funeral home directors – taking a closer look at ways to improve overall fuel efficiency. Here are five other ways funeral directors can improve and maintain better fuel economy:
- Don’t Idle – This top tip is where the inspiration for systems like Ford’s Stop-Start option. Idling your car can cost you – literally. Idling can burn up to 2 ounces of fuel a minute – that’s 20 ounces within 10 minutes. Funeral cars tend to idle for a long time, with some funeral homes leaving them running as they wait for families to get in. Shut the car off if you’re going to be still for more than a few minutes and save yourself plenty at the pump.
- Inflate Tires Properly – Checking that your funeral car’s tires are properly infalted reduces the resistance of your tires on the pavement. This reduces drag and can make a difference in fuel economy.
- Watch the Oil Maintenance – When dealing with a fleet of cars, some funeral homes have them serviced all at the same time – and as cheaply as possible. This means some cars may not be getting serviced when they should while others may not be getting the specific kind of oil they need to perform. Keeping each car to its own schedule and sticking to vehicle manufacture guidelines improves overall performance.
- Seal Your Gas Cap – This is one that many people laugh at when they first see it, but hear me out. I’m not talking about making sure your gas cap is on, it’s about the rubber seal around the cap. The seal prevents oxygen from getting into your gas system. Extra oxygen means more air getting to your engine and that means more fuel consumption. Seals can degrade and crack over time and that’s where maintenance comes into play. If your seal starts to go, don’t replace it with the cheapest knock-off you can find. Invest the extra money for OEM or equivalent.
- Shop Smart – If you maintain a larger fleet, work with a local gas station for a price break. If you’re not able to do that, use apps to find the best prices and then strike while the iron is hot. Double up the smart shopping by paying with a credit card that offers cash back on fuel purchases.