Ways to Save on Gas
Regardless of the price of a gallon of gas, it is always great to be able to save. Often, the small things we do can add up to big savings. If you are looking to spend less time at the pump, read on for some easy things you can start doing today.
- Skip the car completely. If you drive short distances to places like the store or park, leave your car keys in your pocket and walk instead.
- Lighten your load. Remove unnecessary items from your vehicle, as extra weight decreases gas mileage.
- Avoid long idles. Turn off your engine if you anticipate waiting longer than 30 to 45 seconds. During cold weather months, limit the time that you let your car warm up. Idling for only one minute consumes the same amount of gas that is required for starting your engine.
- Plan your trip ahead of time. Consolidate your trip to places that are close to one another. Park in a centralized location and walk to your various destinations. Also use the route that requires the least amount of stopping, even if it’s a slightly longer route.
- Open the windows. Instead of blasting the air conditioning on a hot day, open the windows or use your car vents, which circulate outside air. The A/C uses gas to run.
- Keep up on tire maintenance. Keep your tires properly inflated and aligned and get regular maintenance checks.
- Get your oil changed. Stay up-to-date on oil changes; they should be done every 3,000 miles. Also, ensure that your mechanic is using the proper grade of motor oil. The wrong grade can increase the friction on your engine, which uses more gas.
- Drive slower. You can improve your gas mileage by approximately 20 percent by driving 55 mph instead of 65 mph.
- Accelerate slowly from a dead stop.
- Remove snow tires. When the need for snow tires has passed, remove them. Their deep treads increase friction and use more gas.
- Use the right octane level. Unless your engine is knocking, use the octane level recommended in your owner’s manual.
Considering buying a new or used vehicle? Before making a purchase, check the gas mileage ratings of similar vehicles of interest to you. Then, narrow down your options on a model that is fuel-efficient in the size category that meets your needs. For quick reference, visit www.fueleconomy.gov for gas mileage comparisons of similar models.