Tips to Help Save on Gas
Saving on Gas 101
Whether you spend hours on the road every week or you drive occasionally, saving on gas is always a priority. Fuel prices are creeping higher and higher, and even though you might not always be able to get to the station with the lowest price, there are a few things you can do to save on gas. Read on for tips on how to keep more fuel in your tank, and more cash in your pockets.
Tips to Save Gas
Tip 1: Don’t idle
This is a no-brainer: when you let your car idle for more than a minute at a time, you’re burning gas without going anywhere. Not only are you throwing away money, but those gas emissions aren’t environmentally friendly either. If you’ve pulled over to wait for someone, turn off the engine. It’ll take a lot less gas to restart it than what would have been wasted while idling.
Tip 2: Limit extra weight
Your car isn’t a storage locker, so rid your trunk or back seat of things you’re not using (like golf clubs, camping equipment — you name it). Extra weight — as little as 50 or 100 lbs — eats up gas while driving down your fuel mileage.
Tip 3: Turn down the air conditioning
If you can stay comfortable with just the windows down, then you should turn off the A/C. While air conditioning is definitely valuable on a sweltering summer day, it also puts added strain on your engine, which decreases fuel economy. When driving through the city, save gas by leaving your windows open. For highway driving, though, feel free to use the A/C, since closed windows will reduce air resistance.
Tip 4: Make sure your tires are well inflated
You should make a habit of checking the air pressure in your tires regularly. An under-inflated tire increases rolling resistance — the effect is similar to driving with your parking brake on. On the other end of the gauge, an over-inflated tire can blow out, which is dangerous. Properly inflated tires can help reduce gas consumption, and it also helps promote even wear in tires; it’s win-win.
Tip 5: Get regular tune-ups
Just like an annual visit with your doctor for a check-up, you should also take in your car for a regular tune-up to ensure it’s running properly and its parts are in good condition. Any problem — minor or major — can mean gas loss or over-consumption.
Tip 6: Avoid abrupt starts and stops
Treating your car gently can also help save gas. “Jackrabbit” starts and sudden stops — i.e. abruptly screeching forward when the light turns green or slamming on the breaks when it’s red — are not only bad for your tires and dangerous to other drivers, but they’re also terrible for your gas mileage. Take time to accelerate and slow down gently.
Tip 7: Use cruise control
If you’re hitting the open road for a long trip, use cruise control to avoid the cycle of speeding up and slowing down. Even better, cruise control will help you avoid muscle cramping during a long drive.
Tip 8: Save on gas at the pump
Filling up on the premium stuff isn’t always necessary. If you’re buying it under the assumption that premium is always better, then take a few minutes to check your owner’s manual. For many vehicles, pricier gas won’t actually result in an improved performance. Save on gas by buying whichever octane the car’s manufacturer recommends.
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