With the cost of gasoline increasing around the country and rumors of shortages, many people are looking for ways to save money and conserve gas.
Here are some tips:
- Maintain proper tire pressure. Keeping your tires inflated will improve gas mileage, resulting in less need of gas.
- Get regular oil changes and use the oil that is recommended by the manufacturer. Using the correct oil can improve fuel economy by 1 to 2%.
- Get regular tuneups and maintain the emission system. This can increase fuel economy as much as 4%,
- Avoid aggressive driving. Driving at a steady speed will also conserve gas. Speeding up and slowing down can result in as much as 33% decrease of fuel economy on the highway and 5% on surface streets.
- Don’t idle the engine unnecessarily. For example, if you are waiting for someone in a parking lot, turn off your vehicle.
- Reduce your speed when possible. The faster you drive, the more gas your vehicle will use. Fuel economy decreases significantly if you are driving faster than 50 mph.
- Turn down the A/C or turn it off. If you are on the highway, roll down your windows.
- Don’t strap things to the top of your vehicle. Aerodynamic drag can decrease a car’s fuel economy. If you have a cargo box, consider removing it.
- Do not carry unnecessary items in your vehicle. The more your vehicle weighs, the more gas it will consume.
- Carpool when necessary and split the cost of gas.
- Don’t waste money on premium gas if your car does not need it. Premium fuel, which is more expensive, is for sports cars and luxury vehicle with high-performance engines. Check your owner’s manual or look for a sticker on the gas tank door if you are not sure what is suggested.
- Drive to your farthest destination first. A warm engine is more efficient. If you are running errands, start with the one farthest away first.
- Coast in gear. Rolling in neutral requires a trickle of gas, but in-gear coasting does not.
- Choose a right-turn route only. By choosing a route where you can always make right turns, you can increase fuel economy by 3%.
- Avoid traffic congestion. Driving at speed is more fuel efficient that having to stop and start in heavy traffic.
- Consider fuel economy before you buy. Smaller vehicles generally require less fuel.
- Only drive when necessary. In addition to carpooling, consider alternative forms of transportation, including buses, bikes or your own two feet.
- Shop around before filling up. There are smartphone apps and websites like GasBuddy.com that will help you find the cheapest gas in your area. Also, avoid going at a time when you know the gas station will be busy.