At the rate we’re using fuel, it’s no wonder that there is serious concern about current oil prices.
One good thing that’s been happing in the automobile industry is the move towards making more energy efficent cars by the car comapnies. But we are still a long way behind.
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Thankfully, there are ways, like hypermiling, you can decrease the amount of gas your car uses, saving yourself a little more of that hard-earned money.
In fact, simply switching your driving habits, like coasting more often, would greatly improve fuel economy.
However, we never seem to get enough mileage out of the gas we put in our cars. With the ever-increasing fuel prices, it becomes more prudent to get more out of every dollar we spend on fuel.
Coupled with the start-stop nature of the economy, and millions out of work, it is wise for just about anybody to save a buck or two anyway, anywhere, he or she can, which obviously have to include fuel consumption.
Here are some tips to help you get more miles out of every drop of gas you buy, saving you some cash:
Tips for Saving Gas While Driving & in Your Car
1- Use Cruise Control on Long Even Roads
Does cruise control save gas?
Yes, it does!
Switch on your cruise control when you happen to be on long smooth trips.
The logic is that when you travel at a consistent enough speed, your mileage would inevitably improve.
2- Combine Trips
A sure way to save gas is to pack as many destinations as possible into your daily trips.
For example, you may have to drive downtown on various occasions to fix various tasks. Instead, why not combine all of these rides into one whenever possible.
With proper planning, you would not save only on gas but also time.
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3- Plan Your Trips
Regardless of the promises of GPS and the usefulness of maps, lots of people still get lost on their trips every day.
Obviously, driving around aimlessly whole day is not going to help your objective of saving gas.
In addition, get ready with the alternative routes before you set on your trip in case of traffic jam.
It is also a good practice to mitigate the risk of getting lost.
Get people to fund the ride to your office.
It doesn’t matter who pays for the ride, your colleagues in the same office block, your neighbors or simply anyone who would be on the same route as you drive out every morning.
Carpooling can present an immediate 50% savings on your fuel bills.
5- Avoid Idling
This would be quite a revelation!
An idling car with the engine cranking chews up about the same amount of gas as that of a moving car in just six seconds.
It just makes more sense, at least in the monetary aspect, to park your car and walk into McDonald’s and get your hamburger, rather than using the drive-through.
6- Drive Less
Whenever possible, drive less!
You can achieve this by carpooling, combining multiple trips and simply taking the first available parking spot.
7- Use GPS
Being an old-fashioned guy, I did not believe in how a GPS would help me on my time on the road, until I got one for myself.
I was amazed to find out that my regular commute time was cut down a neat seven minutes the first time I used it.
I have always had this great confidence in my choice of shortest route to get from point A to B. But the GPS showed me that I can always cut down my traveling time, in terms of distance traveled, by presenting me an alternate route I did not think of.
8- Avoid (Unnecessary) Stops!
The law requires that a car has to come to a halt in the presence of the red lights and stop signs.
Instead, slow the car down if you notice red light some distance ahead, and hopefully, you don’t have to bring the car to a complete stop as the light turns into your favor, as you get nearer.
You may think why bother in the first place?…
The science of the engine tells us that it takes less fuel to keep a car going (at whatever speed) then to get a stationary car moving.
9- Don’t Use Cruise Control on Hilly Roads
The whole idea of switching to cruise control is to settle the car down at a consistent speed as you travel on a long smooth trip, which allows fuel saving.
But it is never intended for hilly roads, in a sense, it cannot handle the necessary acceleration and deceleration required by such ride. You would run into problem regardless you are going uphill or downhill.
Simply put, nobody uses cruise control as they tackle the hills.
10- Drive Within the Speed Limits
It is more than just wasting money on unnecessary tickets.
When you get to drive at a consistent speed, you save gas.
11- Roll Up the Windows
When we are in no hurry to get to our destination, we habitually wind down the window to let cool air in or hot air out.
But if you were zooming along a highway, having the windows down would greatly increase the drag, which in turn reduces fuel efficiency significantly.
So, when the weather turns real hot as you rush about, a far better option to cool you down is to turn on the A/C instead.
12- Take Off Slowly From a Full Stop
This allows the engine to find its pace slowly.
By not over-stressing the engine, you also cut down the gas.
13- Avoid Store Fronts
Most of us have this habit to want to park as closest as possible to the store just so we could save a few steps!
Bad idea, if you have fuel saving in mind!
Unless you get real lucky, more often than not, your car would have to get to idle mode as you wait for pedestrians and other cars to pass by.
When you park further away, you save more precious gas, and the reward for that extra walk is that you get fitter!
14- Don’t Tailgate!
It is more than just mitigating road accident.
Tailgating is a dangerous practice, but it can be an expensive exercise as well.
By sticking so closely to another car’s backside, more gas would have to be used as you brake and accelerate more.
15- Use Your Overdrive Gears
The idea of overdrive gears is to keep the RPM down, and lower rev equates less fuel consumption. More tips on fuel efficiency.
16- Turn Off the AC
This tip is subjective; guess where one lives or how one cope with the heat would be a significant factor. But surely you can do without AC for those last few minutes just before you reach your destination.
Make a habit of turning the AC off when your destination is within sight, at least.
17- Park in the Shade
This may sound strange to you, but gasoline REALLY does evaporate even as it is trapped safely inside your gas tank.
Naturally, a car parked directly in the hot sun would intensify this evaporation process.
Try to park your car in the shade whenever and wherever possible.
If no shade is to be found anywhere, the next best option is to park your car with the gas tank away from any direct sun.
Reducing Fuel Costs with Cheap Car Maintenance
18- Change Air filters
Yet another cheap car component that plays a critical part in the car’s well being.
Air filters that are not serviced regularly could get clogged up easily and your engine consumes more gas along the way.
19- Get Rid of Unnecessary Weight
If your car weighs less, than the less gas it is going to consume.
We habitually leave stuff inside the car, stuff that has nothing whatsoever to do with our car or our driving experience.
Dump all those that don’t deserve to be there.
It is believed that every 100 pounds added to the car can cut down the MPG effectively by up to 2 percent.
20- Keep the Tires Properly Inflated
Most people know that properly inflated tires can help to save gas.
Interestingly, this method is also one of the most overlooked options.
It is no tough job – simply fill your tires every two weeks.
Sure, the pressure of the air machine would have to be set according to the recommendations made by the car manufacturer.
21- Use the Right Kind of Oil
Lube oil used in your car could also be a significant factor.
Again, follow the recommendation of the car manufacturer, lest you don’t accidentally pour in wrong grade of motor oil.
Inappropriate motor oil may cause additional friction in the engine, generating unnecessary heat and consuming more gas.
22- Replace the Spark Plugs
The spark plug is perhaps among the cheapest car components and it is usually not too much a challenge to change it (well, depending on what car you drive).
If you have never changed a spark plug before, pick up one of those auto repair books to find out how easy it is all about.
If you decide the task is unmanageable, you can always count on a friend or even professional help!
23- Take Good Care of Your Car
One sure way to cut down your fuel bill is to pay close attention to your car.
Anybody can tell you that a car that is well maintained tends to run more efficiently.
The result is you get to extract better mileage out of it, and that helps to drive your gas related expenses down.
Paying Less at the Pump
24- Find the Cheapest Gas
Your diligence in sifting out the best deal in town would be rewarded with a significantly lower gas expense.
Check out the gas prices as you pass through gas stations.
Sites like GasBuddy.com are a great way to find cheap fuel. To make it easier, get the GasBuddy app so you can spot the lowest gas prices on the go.
25- Don’t Fill Until Your Tank is All the Way down
It is said that the best time to fill up is when you are almost out of gas.
There is actually an explanation to it as your car would definitely be hitting better mileage when it was hauling a lighter fuel load, and correspondingly a lighter load for the car.
26- Fill Up all the Way
Get the gas tank full, whenever possible.
By filling $10 gas today and $20 the next day, you may get the false impression that you are saving.
But when you aggregate the number of trips and amount of dollars spent, that saving is simply a myth.
Likely your cost is more because of the many extra trips to the stations.
Saving with Fuel Efficient Cars
27- Buy a Diesel
I would suggest for your next car, think about a diesel car.
Diesel cars are so much more efficient where gas consumption is concerned.
There would also be more fuel options as your car will be able to run on bio-diesel or even waste vegetable oil fuel, options not available to gasoline cars.
28- Buy a Hybrid Car
The well-documented advantage of a hybrid car is its great gas mileage.
But here in the U.S., the federal government and most local states would also reward you with tax breaks should you choose to go with a new hybrid car.
The deduction could be as much as $2,000 for your federal tax.
29- Buy a Smaller Car
Smaller cars mean lighter cars.
The gas required for comparable performance for the lighter car would obviously be significantly less that what would be expected of a bigger and heavier car.
30- Buy a Motorcycle or a Scooter!
The size of your household probably has a big say in that decision.
But if it is practical at all, a scooter or a motorbike could be an excellent choice!
At 70 MPG for most of such bikes, it effectively shaves off a huge chunk of your budget on gas.
Of course, the upfront investment (and the subsequent installment) is way below that of a conventional car.
One additional bonus is that traffic jam no longer bothers you!
The Bottom Line
Whenever you embark on a saving plan (it does not matter these are utilities, food or fuel), some form of sacrifices on your part could usually be expected. But these sacrifices would become less significant in relation to the hefty goal you set yourself on.
In compiling this list of tips, hours were invested into diligent research.
I have also tried to ensure that they represent some of the best and practical ways to save on gas.
Some are outright straightforward that any amateur can figure out, and some ideas were distilled from the pros out there, in short insights that the average driver may not be aware of.
The bottom line is, when you collate and implement these techniques, you save money on gas and pay less at the pump.