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How to save on gas when facing high prices or possible shortage

Posted at 3:54 PM, May 12, 2021
and last updated 2021-05-12 18:54:34-04

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.

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