Ways to Greatly Reduce That Pain at the Pump
The cost of gasoline and other fossil fuel based products has skyrocketed in recent years, which can lead to serious pain at the pump, especially for consumers that must commute to work every day. Fortunately, there are many quick and easy ways to save on gas by simply changing a few habits:
1) Ditch the gas guzzler. This may be tough for some consumers, but it all comes down to what is practical. Most people simply do not need a large pickup truck or SUV, or a six cylinder engine instead of four. Making the switch to a more fuel efficient vehicle can save thousands of dollars a year in fuel costs.
2) Always make sure that the vehicle is properly maintained and tuned. A poorly maintained vehicle can easily burn 25% more gas, which really adds up, especially with today’s gas prices.
3) Make the switch to steel-belted radial tires. Consumers who install these tires will see an increase in gas mileage of up to 10%. For a commuter who drives 300 miles a week, that means an extra 30 miles without spending a dime more. That is 120 extra miles a month, and 1440 over the course of a year.
4) Never use premium, high octane gas. The only exception is when the vehicle has a high performance engine and the manufacturer recommends it.
5) Always check tire pressure once a week. Driving on underinflated tires can reduce gas mileage significantly. For every pound the tires are underinflated, expect to see a drop of six percent in gas mileage – that is a 30% drop if they are underinflated by 5 pounds, which is common.
6) Never top off the tank. On warm days, the gas will expand, and it may overflow the tank, resulting in wasted gas.
7) Never warm up the car by letting it idle. It is far more efficient to warm up an engine by driving than by letting it idle. Not only that, but an idling vehicle can easily burn a quart of gas or more every 15 minutes.
8) Make a conscious effort to combine errands whenever possible and avoid backtracking. This can result in significant savings.
9) Always accelerate gently because flooring the gas pedal will burn more fuel than necessary.
10) Keep an eye on traffic ahead at all times in order to anticipate slow-downs and avoid stops. Remember, there is a reason why city mileage and highway mileage ratings are so different – constantly stopping and starting uses much more fuel.
11) Drivers should always ease up to traffic jams by taking their foot off the gas, rather than approaching at full speed and slamming on the brakes. It takes 20% more fuel to get the car up to normal speeds again from a full stop than it does when the car is still in motion.
12) There is a sweet spot for fuel efficiency when it comes to driving speed. Driving around 50 MPH uses 20-30% less gas than driving at 70 MPH.
13) Always maintain a constant speed on the highway by avoiding slower cars, otherwise it may be necessary to slow down or speed up to overtake them, burning more fuel than otherwise would be required. Use cruise control whenever possible.