How to Save Money on Gas: 18 Cost-Saving Tips to Help You Get Better Gas Mileage & Save at the Pump by Ann Marie Patitucci
By now you’ve no doubt noticed that you’re paying more at the pump. Here’s the good news: By adjusting your driving behaviors, you can save yourself some money! Even better, in addition to saving consumers money, these 18 tips from AAA may make car travel safer:
- Maintain your car according to the manufacturer’s recommendations. Regular service ensures peak fuel economy, car performance and longevity.
- Keep your tires properly inflated. Underinflation reduces fuel economy. More importantly, underinflated tires wear more rapidly and can overheat and blow out.
- Slow down! On the highway, aerodynamic drag causes fuel economy to drop off as your speed increases above 50 mph.
- When approaching a stop sign or red light, take your foot off the gas early and allow the car to coast down to a slower speed until you need to brake.
- When driving in town, adjust your speed to “make” the traffic lights. This will reduce repeated braking and acceleration which consume additional fuel.
- Accelerate smoothly. This will reduce engine rpm and saves fuel, which will save you money at the pump.
- Use cruise control to help maintain a consistent speed which also saves fuel. (However, never use cruise control on slippery roads as this is dangerous.)
- Avoid extended idling to warm up the engine or get the A/C going. This wastes fuel! Avoid prolonged idling in general.
- Avoid driving on rough roads when possible. Dirt and gravel can cost “up to 30 percent of your gas mileage.”
- Minimize your use of air conditioning and open your car windows instead, as open windows have less effect on fuel economy.
- Park your car in the shade so your air conditioning doesn’t have to work as hard. In addition, turn off the AC five minutes before you reach your destination.
- Park your car so that you can easily travel in forward gear when you return to it. Plan ahead to accomplish multiple errands in one trip, and when possible avoid high-traffic times of day to avoid repeated braking and acceleration.
- If you own more than one car, use the most fuel-efficient model when possible.
- Remove excess weight from your trunk or inside your car: extra tires, child seats, etc. Extra weight reduces mileage, especially when driving uphill.
- Remove excess weight from large SUVs and minivans by removing unneeded third-row seating. Some third-row seats weigh over 100 pounds and the extra weight wastes fuel.
- Take your car to a repair shop as soon as possible if the “check engine” light comes on. This light indicates a problem that likely reduces fuel economy.
- Before a road trip, fill up at your local station. If you must fill up near the highway, try stations near state border lines, which tend to price their gasoline less aggressively than those near major highways.
- Avoid buying gas when there’s a delivery truck at the station. Recent deliveries “stir up sediment, which can clog your fuel filter.”
For more fuel and money-saving tips, visit AAA.
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