The price of gas is always rising; everyone is concerned that their budget allocation on gas is a lot more than it was a couple of years ago. But did you know that there is a way you can bring down the costs just by changing how you drive and the state of your car? You can cut down your gas budget by as much as 20% if you follow these 10 simple common knowledge tips that most drivers and car owners often overlook.
- When was the last time you had your car serviced, engine oil changed and the engine tuned up? Just because the car seems to run well does not mean you do not have to do anything. Regular engine tune-up and change of oil is necessary to ensure that the car runs smoothly and efficiently. A properly maintained car engine can improve fuel mileage by up to 4 percent.
- Straighten your tires, ensure there is no imbalance and check the pressure. Poor wheel alignment can cost you up to 10 percent of gas besides causing the tires to wear out quickly and being a greater accident risk. It is good to have the tires checked often and make it a habit to check the pressure on your own regularly.
- Lighten your car. No need to carry half of what you own in the trunk, no matter how much space you have back there. A lighter car means more force the car needs to go from one point to another. Every 100 extra pounds you carry around costs you between 1 and 2 percent in fuel efficiency.
- Start, stop and drive steady. Avoid screeching tires, whether you are starting or stopping, and avoid unnecessary acceleration and deceleration. When driving over a long distance, maintain a particular speed to reduce drag as this uses much less fuel.
- Do not leave the car in idle mode for too long. Typically, the car can warm up in less than two minutes, so no need to start the car in the morning then dash back to take a shower and shave. Even when you are stuck in traffic or are at a drive-thru, if you will be stopped for longer than two minutes, turn off the engine.
- Close your windows to eliminate wind resistance. You can save as much as 6 percent of fuel just by keeping the windows closed as the car will glide more smoothly cutting through the air and creating less turbulence that tends to ‘pull’ the car back. This is particularly important when driving at high speeds on a freeway.
- When you buy gas is also a very important factor. Fill up your car late in the day or very early in the morning. When the sun is up and it is really hot outside, gas is less dense and literally you will be getting less gas than you would get when you buy during the cold hours of the day.
- When you are driving over a long distance, say when going on a road trip, you can save fuel by driving behind another car, most preferably one larger than your car. This is a technique NASCAR and other racing drivers use to gain speed without using much fuel. Drafting, as it is called, reduces the force a car needs to ‘cut through’ air and turbulence.
- Turn off the A/C, spot lights and other electronic gadgets which you do not need. These electric and electronic gadgets do not use gas directly, but their load on the alternator causes the car to use more fuel to provide the power they need to run.
- Use your GPS to find the best routes to use. Choose roads that have less congestion, with smoother roads free of pot holes and bumps and of course the shortest to get you where you are going.
These tips will help you save as much as 20 to 30 percent of fuel you use today, you should therefore consider applying them and see the difference!
James McDonnel contributed this guest post. James is an automotive enthusiast and a freelance writer. He writes for wish.co.uk and he enjoys rare driving experiences like the ones they offer on this web site