With gas prices going up every year, it is important to do anything you can to save yourself money at the pump. Try some of these helpful tips to keep extra money in your wallet the next time you visit a gas station.
What Can I Do to Save Money on Gas?
While most ways to save money at the pump involve altering your driving techniques, there are a few things you can do to your vehicle to make sure it performs at maximum fuel efficiency. Try things like driving defensively, removing any excess weight, and keeping your car maintained to boost your mileage.
1. Slow Down
The faster you drive, the more gas you end up using. According to the Department of Energy, for every 5 mph that you drive over 50 mph, it's like paying around $0.18 more per gallon of gas. Although it is tempting to go as fast as you can on the highway, try to stick to a reasonable speed.
2. Accelerate Quickly
It may sound like slowly accelerating to your desired speed is more fuel-efficient, but the longer you are in a lower gear and at higher RPMs, the more fuel you will actually use. Just don't stomp the pedal to the floor.
3. Avoid Idling
If you are just sitting in your car waiting around, make sure to shut it off. Sitting with the engine idling can use between a quarter and half-gallon of gas per hour, which is just money down the drain.
4. Use Cruise Control
When you are driving on the highway, turn on cruise control if your vehicle has it. If you are maintaining your speed manually, you'll end up using more fuel compared to letting your car handle it.
5. Check Your Tire Pressure
You should know how to check your tire pressure to confirm pressure levels. For every one PSI below the recommended inflation level, expect your fuel efficiency to drop around 0.4%. Don't fall for the myth that overinflated tires increase your mileage, either.
6. Tune Up Your Engine
Your fuel efficiency will only improve if your engine is running at peak efficiency. This involves making sure your oil, air filters, and spark plugs get changed at the recommended intervals. There should be a recommended maintenance schedule inside your car's manual.
7. Remove Your Roof Rack
Take off your roof rack and anything on it when you don't plan on using it. Studies show that the drag caused by having a roof rack and any accessories on it can drop your fuel economy by as much as 20%.
8. Empty Excess Weight
Just like removing your roof rack when you aren't using it, you should remove any unnecessary items from the trunk or backseat of your car. Every 100 pounds of excess weight that you have in your car drops your fuel efficiency by around 1%.
9. Put Up Your Windows
Hanging your arm out of the window and letting the breeze hit you does feel amazing, but it also decreases your average MPG. Having a window open, especially on the highway, can drop how far you can get out of your gas tank by as much as 10%. Studies have shown that it is more economical to have the AC on low than the windows down at high speeds.
10. Plan Out Your Route
Although it may seem like a hassle, try planning out your entire route before you leave the house. If you put all of your stops in an order that makes sense, you'll cut off any wasted miles going back and forth.
Save Yourself Money at the Pump
By following all of the tips in this guide, you'll definitely see the amount you pay for gas go down over time. Another great way to learn driving techniques that will save you money is by taking a defensive driving course at IDriveSafely.com. Our online courses make it easy to improve your driving from the comfort of your home.