How to Save on Gas: 20 Tips
If you are travelling by car this summer then it’s time to learn how to save on gas. Prices fluctuate too much for my taste. Besides, saving money and getting out of debt is always the name of the game. So, if you have a car and you plan on using it then let’s make a few adjustments to save on gas and keep money in our pockets.
Roll the Windows Down (if you can)
Did you know that in most cars, the air conditioner’s compressor is powered by a drive belt on the engine?Yes it’s true. When the air conditioner is activated, the compressor adds resistance to your engine. That extra resistance means your engine requires more fuel to turn at the same speed.
Living in NYC I understand what it is like to want to get somewhere fast. However, I know how to save on gas too. Fact! Speeding spells decreased fuel economy. Another fact! If you speed you could possibly cause an accident which puts you and your family in danger. It also could spell a speeding ticket.
This one is a no brainer. Regularly changing your oil, maintaining your tires, and keeping your car’s mechanical system in good condition is good practice. It also can improve your car’s gas consumption and extend the life of your vehicle.
Don’t Use the car
If you want to know how to save on gas don’t use your car. It might not always be practical but I am sure you can see the savings. You can also car pool back and forth to work or use public transportation if you live in a place like NYC.
Plan Your Trip
Planning your trip from start to finish is a great way to save money. You can decide what to bring or not bring with you and you can determine where to buy and fill up gas. I try to plan my trips around gas price locations. Just driving to New Jersey can save me $15 on filling up.
Another great “how to save on gas” tip is to avoid traffic. The stop and go motion is a sure fire way to guzzle some of that expensive gas. My wife tends to drive around timeframe that limits her meeting traffic. It’s not always possible but it’s always good to keep in mind.
Using cruise control on the highway helps you maintain a constant speed which we learned above can keep everyone safe. However, in most cases, it will save you gas too. You just have to make sure you aren’t speeding at a cruised control.
Like cruise control putting the car in neutral at a traffic stop or when you are driving straight can save you on gas. Every time you put the pedal to the metal you are sending gas where it is needed to accelerate. That means money out of your pocket.
Turn Off Your Car
You never want to continually shut off your car and start it up again because that can waste gas. You do, however, want to shut off your car under certain circumstances. For example in NYC I sometimes have to wait a half hour for legal parking. I never idle when I wait. It just wastes too much.
Don’t Use Premium Gas
If you want to debate someone on how to save on gas tell them to only put in regular. Some people swear by premium gas but if you have an old car or if you are leasing a car put in regular. You will save yourself a ton of money in the long run.
This might not be the easiest “how to save on gas” tip but I had to mention it. Drafting is a technique in racing where cars align in order to reduce the overall effect of fluid resistance of the group. It reduces the average energy required to maintain a certain speed. You have to be a great driver to implement drafting.
Clear the Trunk
Clear the trunk or don’t invite grandma. Extra luggage or extra people add weight to a car which in turn makes the car work more. If the car is working more you are working to keep up with the cost associated with all the extra weight.
Don’t Top Off the Tank
Gasoline weighs about six pounds per gallon. The average gas tank holds about 15 gallons. So a full tank weighs around 90 pounds. A car weighs about 3000 pounds. By skimping on gas you’re carrying about 3% less weight. So at best, you might save about 3 percent on gas. Something is something.
Learn Good Driving Habits
If you can care less about how to save on gas then care about learning good driving habits. There are so many benefits in doing so that it has to be mentioned. Oh and in case you forgot good driving habits means conscience driving habits. You can save a lot when you are conscience.
A little bit of vehicle maintenance can go a long way in improving gas mileage. According to the U.S. Department of Energy, 1.25 billion gallons of gasoline – approximately 1% of total consumption – are wasted each year on underinflated tires.
Did you know that replacing a clogged air filter on an older vehicle with a carbureted engine can improve both fuel economy and acceleration by a few percent under normal replacement conditions? If you have an older car change the filters and save some money.
Buy a Hybrid
Assuming you are interested in a new vehicle, buying a hybrid can save you big bucks. Yes hybrids are a bit more money but they also bring a tax credit. I suggest doing the math to see where you stand on this “how to save on gas” tip.
I am a man so I get lost all the time. Plus I am blonde so that makes the journey that much more challenging. That being said if you know where you are going then you are sure not to get lost. Getting lost can make you drive places you never wanted to go to and spending more than you need. Have GPS handy.
Tune Up Your Car
Fixing a car that is out of tune or has failed an emissions test will improve its gas mileage by 4 percent. Yes the results vary based on the kind of repair but it will save you. Also, fixing a serious maintenance problem, such as a faulty oxygen sensor, can improve your mileage by as much as 40 percent.
Now That You Know More About How to Save on Gas, What Will You Do?