Save Money on Gas – Small, Easy Gas Saving Tips Take a Big Bite Out of High Gas Prices
June 26, 2008
Saving money on gas is more important than ever as fuel prices continue to climb. Follow these gas saving tips to make it easier for your car to go farther with less fuel.
Make Your Car More Fuel Efficient
Although we’re the ones shelling out more money for expensive gas, don’t forget your car is still the one doing all the work. Make it easier for your car to drive and it will use less gas.
- Air Filter – studies at FuelEconomy.com suggest replacing the air filter in your car on a regular basis can improve the gas mileage that you get with your car by up to 10 percent.
- Alignment – improper alignment will cause a certain amount of engine drag, which will increase the amount of gas that you are using.
- Gas Cap – replace lost gas caps and make sure you put them on tight to avoid evaporation of fuel.
- Tire Pressure – You may reduce the fuel efficiency of your car by up to 2 percent for each pound that the tires are under-inflated.
- Vehicle Weight – avoid keeping unnecessary items in your vehicle, especially heavy ones. According to fueleconomy.gov an extra 100 pounds in your vehicle could reduce your MPG by up to 2%. The reduction is based on the percentage of extra weight relative to the vehicle’s weight and affects smaller vehicles more than larger ones.
Save Gas with Your Driving Habits
How you drive your vehicle plays a big role in how much gas it uses. For example, FuelEconomy.gov warns that aggressive driving wastes gas. It can lower your gas mileage by 33 percent at highway speeds and by 5 percent around town. Here are some things you can do to make your fuel go farther.
- Avoid speeding – “while each vehicle reaches its optimal fuel economy at a different speed (or range of speeds), gas mileage usually decreases rapidly at speeds above 60 mph. You can assume that each 5 mph you drive over 60 mph is like paying an additional $0.30 per gallon for gas.”
- No lead foot – Accelerating away from traffic lights increases the amount of gas used.
- Anticipate Stops – Keeping your eyes open for the need to stop down the road will help minimize the use of your brakes. This will allow you to coast to a stop, instead of speeding up to a stop sign or stop light then slamming on the brakes.
- Avoid Idling – Your gas mileage while idling is 0 miles per gallon so avoid it when you can.
- Plan Your Trips – You can help prevent idling by avoiding the busiest driving times of the day when you have to sit in traffic. Another benefit to planning your trips is you can combine all your errands into one outing and make your driving more efficient, saving you money on gas.
- Track Your Purchases – Use a fuel log to record mileage, gallons, and fuel costs. Review your fuel buying habits periodically to look for potential improvements.
Pay Less for Gas
The most obvious way to do this is to buy a fuel efficient vehicle. Thanks to high gas prices all automobile manufacturers want to tout themselves as fuel efficient nowdays. When you’re shopping for a new vehicle, be sure to check out the fuel economy rating and gas mileage estimates before you buy. FuelEconomy.gov points out
“the difference between a car that gets 20 MPG and one that gets 30 MPG amounts to $1,020 per year (assuming 15,000 miles of driving annually and a fuel cost of $4.08). That’s $5,100 extra in fuel costs over five years!”
You can also lower your gas bill by using resources like GasBuddy to find the lowest fuel prices in your area. Their motto is “consumers working together to save money on gas”. After fueling up members of the site report the price they paid and the gas station name and location. Anyone can search the site by zip code, it will report the price, station location, and the time the last price was posted.
A third way to spend less on gas is to simply avoid the more expensive high octane gasoline.
Gas Saving Tips
Some stores are offering discounts on gas tied to purchases you make in their store. Save your receipt and it could save you several cents per gallon on gas.
Here’s a tip I received by email but have I’ve never used. Can’t vouch for this one but it wouldn’t hurt to try. When you finish filling up your gas tank try turning the nozzle of the hose a full 180 degrees. This will drain a bit more gas into your tank; in some cases up to an entire half cup that would otherwise be a bonus to the next gas customer.
Use a gas credit card to earn cashback on your gas purchases. Here’s a review of the best gas credit cards to save you money at the pump.
All posts by Ben Edwards