July 19, 2011

12 Ways to Save Money on Gas

I wrote this article about four years ago when I worked for “the other company”. I’m slowly trying to transfer and rewrite some of my content for my own site. A friend messaged me on facebook today and wanted to know if I had any tips for saving money on gas and so this was a good reason for this article.

With gas prices so high right now, we could all use these tips.

1.  Drive sensibly.  Aggressive driving (speeding, rapid acceleration, braking) wastes gas.  Driving sensibly can help increase your gas mileage by 5% for around town driving and 33% at highway speeds.  Someone said that you should drive like you have a hot cup of coffee on your dash. 

2.  Observe the speed limit.  Gas mileage usually decreases rapidly at speeds above 60 mph. 

3.  Remove excess weight.   Avoid carrying unnecessary, heavy items in your car which will reduce your mpg.

4.  Drive at a constant speed.  I use my cruise control a lot because I can set it and not worry about my speed going up and down.  This saves gas and also avoids me getting a ticket.  I wouldn’t recommend using cruise control in the mountains or hilly areas. 

5.  Turn off your air conditioner.  Running the a/c uses more fuel.   July is one of the hottest months in the south so this tip is impractical in extreme temperatures.  When the temperature is 85 or below, I enjoy rolling down the windows.  Try to park your car in the shade so that it doesn’t get so hot inside the vehicle.

6.  Keep your engine tuned.  Fixing a serious maintenance problem, such as a faulty oxygen sensory, can improve your mileage by as much as 40 percent.

7.  Check and replace air filters regularly.  It saves gas and improves mileage.

8.  Keep proper tire pressure.  Under inflated tires lower gas mileage.  Properly inflated tires are safer and last longer.

9.   Reduce the drag.  Avoid roof racks and bicycle racks when traveling.   Place items in the trunk if possible.

10.  Avoid unnecessary idling.   It wastes fuel and pollutes the air.  If possible, schedule your commute from work during the least busy times.  I remember when I worked in Blacksburg, I really had to watch the times that I left work.  Waiting an additional 10 minutes could cost me an additional 30 minutes of commute time.

11.  Schedule your errands more efficiently.  I try to do all my errands on one side of town in one day that way I’m not driving all over the place.  This saves time and money.

12.  Consider a fuel efficient vehicle.  I’m not saying to run out and buy a new vehicle.  The cost of a new vehicle will be more than gas.  If you’re looking to purchase another vehicle, consider one that is more fuel efficient.

What other gas saving tips can you add?

image (c) Karen Weideman


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