As gas prices continue to creep up, many observers are predicting $4.00 or more per gallon before the end of the year. Whether or not they get that high, consumers are looking for ways to save now. Fortunately, there are several strategies that most people have never heard of.
Try using a combination of the strategies below to save money by increasing fuel economy. Together, these techniques can help preserve those hard-earned dollars for other uses.
Staying Conscious of Gas Mileage While Behind the Wheel
Some cars now come equipped with a gas mileage readout, so it is possible to see just how much that fast take-off from a red light is costing you. Even without this information, some driving techniques will prolong that tank of gas.
- Only pack what is needed in the car. Reducing the weight of the auto will reduce the amount of energy needed to move it.
- Being alert of other drivers and when the next stop sign is coming up can reduce the need to brake. Braking represents a loss of the energy that was used to accelerate the vehicle, so practice coasting instead of rushing to the next stop light.
- Cranking the air conditioner will reduce the mpg of the vehicle. For short trips in town, rolling the windows down will reduce fuel costs. For longer trips at higher speeds, keep windows up and use the recirculation option to reduce the amount of work for the AC.
- Older cars and diesel engines benefit from a warm up prior to driving, but this is just wasted gas for newer cars. Not only do they not need a warm-up period, driving will actually help them reach heat efficiency more quickly.
Basic Maintenance Tips
Following the basic instructions for engine tuning is a must, both to prolong the vehicle’s life and for maximum fuel efficiency. There will also be less risk of costly repairs. Choose an auto service plan that includes tire checks, because improperly inflated tires will reduce gas mileage.
Saving at the Pump
- Gas now comes standard in three varieties of increasing octane levels. For most vehicles, those more expensive types of gas are just wasted money. Get to know which type of gas is recommended by checking the owner’s manual.
- A number of websites allow consumers to enter in up-to-date prices on gas at different stations, so they can find the cheapest prices daily. There are also phone apps available for this now.
- Shopping for gas in cooler temperatures may get you more than during the heat of the day. This is because gas is denser in the cold. Canadian and northern US gas stations use a regulator to ensure accurate pricing, but most southern locations do not.
There are many ways to save money on gas, and it is worth investigating the effects of these tips on your monthly budget. Most products sold as additives have no proof of effectiveness, but these tips have been used by many people to reduce fuel expenses.
Photo Credit: KOMU-8’S Answering The Call by KOMUnews, on Flickr