Tips to Save as much as $800.00 a Year at the Pump
By clover on September 22, 2008
Even though gas prices are slowly coming down, gas will never be cheap again. And there’s no way to predict when the next “crisis” will make them skyrocket. So here are a few ways to stretch your gas money a little further regardless of whether you drive cross-town or cross-country.
Believe it or not, the age and make of your car is not as important as you might think. What ultimately determines your fuel consumption is you. So, keep a little of your hard-earned money in your pocket and out of your tank by following these tips.
Make sure you know exactly what kind of fuel is recommended for your car. Most cars run just fine on good ol’ regular. So unless your owner’s manual states differently don’t waste your money. Premium brands do nothing for your cars performance despite what the oil companies tell you.
Keep your tires properly inflated and aligned at all times. Be sure to follow the manufacturer’s guidelines. This will not only help you save at the pump, but may also help save your life.
Underinflated or unaligned tires can make your car less stable and harder to handle resulting in more accidents. Keeping your tires in peak performance could save you as much as $800.00 a year.
Along with your tires, keep the rest of your car in good working order. Keep the engine tuned, get regular oil changes and clean or change the air filter as needed. This will go a long way to prolonging the life of your car putting more money back in your pocket.
Don’t be in such a big hurry. Don’t speed, don’t rev the engine, and don’t gun it on take off. All of these are huge ways to suck money right out of your pocket. Once you hit more than 60 mph, your car drinks gas.
Just going 70 mph can decrease your fuel efficiency by 20%. Add an additional 10 mph to that and now you’re wasting as much as 25% of your gas. That’s a lot of money blowing out of your tail pipe.
Plan so you have plenty of time to get where you’re going. Drive sensibly. You’ll not only save gas and money but your stress level as well.
Also, do your best to avoid unnecessary idling. If you’re waiting on someone, turn off your car. Instead of spending time, sitting in drive-thru…park. Go in to get your lunch. Now you can justify fries because you’ve worked off the extra calories by walking in to get them!
Turn off the air if you spend much of your time in stop-and-go traffic, cruising under 45 mph. This will improve your fuel efficiency as much as 10%. However, if you spend most of your time on the highway roll up the windows and turn on the air this prevents wind drag and increases fuel efficiency.
Walk, ride, bike, or share. Ultimately, to save at the pump you may have to change your habits even more. Consider getting some additional exercise by walking or biking moderate distances.
Riding mass transit isn’t the scary proposition it used to be. More and more people are bus hopping these days and most cities are beefing up their routes to handle the influx of passengers. So schedules are becoming more convenient.
Carpooling is another great option especially if you work in a hospital, large office park, or mall setting. There’s always someone else who lives close and works the same hours.
And here’s a bonus tip: remove all unnecessary junk form your trunk. Just hauling a few extra pounds around in the car can cut your gas mileage by 15%. So clean that junk out your trunk, that’s what the garage is for.
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