How To Save Money on Gas
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People want to save money at the pump even when gas prices aren't rising. Many drivers invest in hybrid cars and expect to save enough money on gas to make up for the price of a new vehicle.
However, it can take a while for the savings to match what you spent on the car. It could be more economical to reduce the fuel consumption of your current ride, and that’s easier than you might realize if you keep these tips in mind.
Driving techniques that save gas
You can try these first few tips on your next trip. Your car burns more fuel when it speeds up suddenly, so you should try to ease into acceleration.
You’ll still reach home in the same amount of time, and it’ll reduce wear and tear on your car. Slowing down can also save you from speeding tickets and accidents.
It’ll also make stopping easier, which is good because braking uses fuel. Brake gently and only when you have to. It can also help to pay more attention to the road and other drivers. This will help you keep a safe distance from other cars and let you brake gently to avoid sudden stops.
Use your car technology to reduce gas consumption
The automatic stop-start system in your car can be a great tool. According to CNET, it can save you 7% of fuel on a drive. You might not be a fan of the stop-start technology, but it works.
If your car is less than ten years old, it can probably detect coasting and use less fuel. You can simply ease off the gas pedal when it’s safe to do so and coast. It might even disengage part of the drivetrain, which saves even more gas.
You can avoid using your engine more than necessary to save fuel as well. Your engine doesn't need to warm up for long before you back out of the driveway. The time it takes to put your seat belt on, choose your music, and check your mirrors is usually enough.
CNET supported the 45 mph rule for using the AC: if you’re driving under 45 mph, turn off the AC and roll down the windows instead. Of course, this depends on how uncomfortable the heat is, but AC is the main culprit for dropping your mileage in hot weather.
If you can, it’s good to choose a parking location in the back of a lot. You’ll have to walk a little more, but you won’t have to waste gas hunting for the perfect parking spot.
Keep your car properly maintained
A well-maintained car uses gas more efficiently than a clunker. This is particularly true for tires.
Deflated tires create friction, which wastes fuel as your car fights to overcome it. Check your tire pressure once a month and keep them properly inflated. If you wonder how much pressure is right, check your owner's manual.
While you’re checking your tires, you might want to correct their alignment. Misaligned tires cause the same problems as deflated ones.
Your motor oil will help here too. Your engine will have an easier time if you only use the type recommended for your car and clean it when you need to.
Last but not least, don't invest in premium gas unless your car is designed for it. Most cars can't take advantage of its extra chemical engineering, so it’ll just waste a couple of dollars every time you refuel.