Many individuals and families have had to cut their budgets in other areas due to the cost of gas these days. Instead of canceling the annual family road trip or that visit to grandma’s house, there are other ways to save money on gas. These six tips will decrease your gas expenses without sacrificing your precious time.
1. Adjust Your Driving Habits
Making adjustments to your driving habits can lower the amount of fuel that your vehicle burns through. Pay attention to traffic lights and slow your acceleration and deceleration rates. Avoid tailgating. When driving on the interstate, set the cruise control to the posted speed limit. These strategies can lower fuel consumption by 5 to 40 percent, depending on your habits and where you typically drive the most.
2. Plan Your Trips
Plan your trips strategically to avoid sitting in traffic. Idling vehicles waste gas and traffic jams that move slowly lower your mileage. Investigate alternate routes to avoid heavy traffic and time trips for hours of the day when traffic levels are low. When going out, try to run multiple errands at the same time to avoid extra unnecessary trips.
3. Investigate Transportation Alternatives
People who live in large metropolitan areas may be able to use alternative transportation such as light rail or commuter buses. These options not only save gas, but they let you do something else during your time, such as checking work email, reading the newspaper or a book, listening to music or doing needlework. If there is no public transportation, look into carpooling. Not only can you reduce the amount of money that you spend on gas, but wear and tear on your vehicle will go down and so will your parking costs if you have to pay to park. You might even be able to drive in the carpool lane if your commute includes this option.
4. Find Less Expensive Gas
Use websites that give real time posting of local gas prices. Check the prices on your smartphone to plan where to refuel. Plan the timing of your next fill up to take advantage of prices and weather conditions that can affect fueling. Purchase gas gift cards at a discount. Use club cards that give a few cents off of each fill up at the gas station. Avoid conveniently placed but higher priced gas stations along your route. Avoid refueling right before a holiday or on weekends, when stations typically raise the price per gallon.
5. Keep the Car Tuned
Maintenance tasks such as keeping tire pressure at the proper level, getting regular oil changes every 3,000 to 5,000 miles and having fluids flushed and topped off help keep the engine and transmission running smoothly. Pay attention to signs of wear like squealing belts or spongy brakes and have your mechanic take care of the problem before the part fails. Check to make sure the gas cap is fitting tightly.
6. Clean Out the Car
Driving around with extra junk makes the vehicle weigh more, and the heavier the car, the more fuel it takes to move it around. Eliminate the junk from the car on a weekly or monthly basis, depending on how much you use it.
A little bit of preventative maintenance and a few changes in driving habits go a long way in improving vehicle fuel efficiency. Sebastian had experience with a number of different car makes and models working as at a dealership in Florida as a car salesman.