Tips and Advice to Save Money While Filling Up Your Tank
Gas prices will rise and fall in the short-term, but overall are always going to go up as oil resources are depleted world-wide. There is no quick fix to buying gasoline that we can see on the horizon, so we will continue to be hit at the pump. We can however change the way we drive, maintain our vehicles, and shop for gasoline. With these innovative and easy solutions, we can reduce our fuel costs more than 40% annually.
Video: Eco-driving reduces gas consumption
Above and beyond any fuel-saving measures we will explore here, buying the most affordable gasoline available is your best start. Try gasbuddy.com to get you to the best priced fuel in your area. Gasbuddy is constantly updated and lists all the gas stations nationwide, and their current prices on regular, premium and diesel. You may find that trying a station nearby but in the other direction could save you 5 cents or more per gallon. These savings add up quickly overtime. The Federal government also keeps a list of average prices for different states and areas.
Tips to Increase Fuel Efficiency
The following tips if implemented to your current vehicle will greatly increase your fuel efficiency, lowering your fuel consumption as much as 20%:
- Slow Down: Keeping to the posted speed limit will save your more than just a traffic ticket. Traveling at 55 mph gives you up to 21% better mileage when compared to former legal speed limits of 65 mph and 70 mph.
- Shift to Higher Gears: If you have a manual speed transmission, getting into a higher gear rather then over-revving a lower gear can save 45% in consumption ratios.
- Reduce Drag: Drag is a serious factor in regards to fuel efficiency, and usually overlooked. Remove any items such as unused antennas or decorative decals that impede the swift movement of air over your car’s surface. Also keep your windows rolled up. At highway speeds, keeping your windows up can reduce significant drag and increase your fuel efficiency by 10% or more.
- Drive Steady: Maintaining an even and smooth driving speed is essential to not wasting fuel. Speeding up and slowing down causes you to use too much fuel to reach the same destination you are heading to.
- Plan Accelerations: If you see an approaching hill or incline, accelerating before the incline and not during will save you fuel.
- Stay on the Road: Avoid dirt, gravel, and other wise rough roads wherever possible. These non-smooth surfaces will take up to 30% of your fuel efficiency away.
- Tires: Inflate your tires to the maximum PSI available for your tire type to reduce drag. When shopping for new tires, get a larger diameter tire for your rear set. Also change out your winter tires when the season changes. Large tread tires are extremely inefficient at controlling drag in contact with pavement.
- Turn off the Air: Try and go without air conditioning as much as possible. Air conditioners, depending on engine size, will reduce your mileage 10-20%.
- Clean Out Your Trunk: Get rid of anything in your vehicle -- like items in your trunk -- immediately if you do not need them. This reduces weight and gas consumption.
Change Your Habits to Save Fuel
- Apart from increasing your fuel efficiency, there are many changes you can make to your lifestyle which can save you thousands of dollars annually.
- These small changes can be really simple:
- No more drive-thru. Get out of your car and go inside to get your take-out food or coffee. Idling in a drive-thru is a common habit of Americans and needless waste of fuel. The claim that is takes your engine more fuel to shut-off and restart than to idle is pure myth.
- Put your transmission in neutral: When forced to idle, for example in traffic or at railroad crossings, brake and put your car’s automatic transmission into neutral to allow it cool down, reducing engine strain and fuel consumption.
- Use regular fuel: If your car does not absolutely require Super or Premium fuel, stop using it immediately. These fuels offer no superior efficiency, and if your car does not really need the octane increase to run properly, you are wasting your money.
- Carpool: Suppose you are paying on average $4,000/year to just to commute to and from work each day. Take that same commute and carpool with three other co-workers. Your bill is split between the group, bringing your annual spending all the way down to $1,000. Additionally, you will be significantly reducing wear and tear plus mileage on your vehicle, countering its annual value depreciation. More than just a bonus for the environment, carpooling can save you thousands of dollars annually.
Add To Favorites