Gas prices are continuing to rise and show no sign of coming down. A few changes in the way you drive can help you save money on gas costs throughout the year.
The truth is that most of us simply have to drive to get to our daily jobs and get through the rest of the daily chores and activities. So other than feeling the pain of paying twice or thrice the amount you would normally pay for a tank of gas and cursing your luck, what else can you do? There are plenty of hacks that you can use to get some free gas money or get discounts the next time you fill your tank up. But not all of them may be reliable. We’ve got 7 tips that can actually help save gas. Check them out.
Clean up your car’s trunk
Are you someone who drives around with a trunk full of stuff you think is important to you but rarely ever use any of them? Is there a box of clothes or books that you’ve been intending to give away but for some reason they’ve been in your trunk for weeks or months? Or perhaps you love golfing and always keep your kit in your car driving it around even though you hit the golf course only once or twice a month.
Here’s something you should know – every bit of extra weight reduces your car’s fuel efficiency or mileage. This is why engineers and automobile designers spend years perfecting a design by reducing the vehicle’s weight as much as possible while ensuring optimal safety. The lighter your car, the longer it will run on a tank of gas.
Every time you hit the accelerator, you’re using that much more gas to propel the extra dead weight forward. Every time you brake, you’re generating heat. This results in a lot of gas wastage. According to the EPA, every additional 100 pounds in your car reduces your mileage by about 1%. Calculate this for a gallon and you get roughly 4 cents. Who knew that cleaning out your trunk could save you money? Do it now!
Plan your trips better to save gas
Planning is the key to doing everything in life better. This applies to cars and gas costs as well. if you want to reduce your fuel costs, all you have to do is to learn to plan your trips better and combine them.
If you have multiple trips to make in one day, why not plan them out properly so that you don’t have to keep coming back home and then driving back for your next errand? Here’s how planning ahead can help you reduce the amount of fuel you consume:
- Plan your trips one after the other so that you can finish multiple chores or trips one after the other. this means you will cover fewer miles and hence, lesser gas.
- Even if you have to travel in different directions, try and finish as many of them as possible on the same trip. A car uses more fuel to start up when the fuel and engine are cold when compared to when the car is running often. Try and reduce cold starts as much as possible. They are not good for your car or the environment.
Reduce car’s idling time to save gas
Many people think that it consumes lesser fuel to keep a car idling for some time instead of turning off the engine and starting it after a few seconds. Here’s the truth. If your car idling for more than 10 seconds, you’re burning fuel unnecessarily. Many modern car models, especially hybrids, come with a feature where the car’s engine stops when it is at a standstill for more than a few seconds. This may seem annoying to many drivers, but it’s a mechanism built into the vehicle in order to improve mileage by preventing the car from idling for more than a few seconds. All you have to do is push the pedal and the engine will start again.
So don’t leave your car running if you’re at a traffic signal or want to run indoors to get something you forgot to take. Learning these crucial driving tactics will help you save on gas more than you know.
Take the rack off your car’s roof
Engineers and auto designers take great care in ensuring that every car is designed with the right kind of aerodynamics. Aerodynamics plays a very important role in helping the car get the optimum mileage. A number of improvements are made to minimize air resistance before the final design is approved.
While engineers try their best to improve mileage, we tend to destroy all their good work by putting stuff on the roof of our cars. Many of us, especially those who are involved in outdoor activities such as kayaking, skiing, cycling, etc., tend to put our equipment and gear on the roof. This increases air resistance and reduces fuel efficiency.
So, the next time, instead of attaching things onto your car’s roof, try using a hitch-mounted box or rack. This will help save gas. Or if you have no other choice but to roof-mount your stuff, make sure you remove them when you’re not using them.
Check your tire pressure often
Tire pressure has a direct impact on your car’s fuel efficiency. Your car most likely has a Tire Pressure Monitoring System light that indicates when the pressure is reducing. But don’t rely on this light. Why? Because the TPMS light may not turn on until one or more of your tires has pressure 25% lesser than the recommended amount.
It’s crucial that you don’t wait for this long to fill air again because even a 25% drop in tire pressure can have a drastic impact on your mileage or even worse, your tire could burst.
The best way to be safe is to check your tire pressure once or twice every month. You can get a good-quality pressure gauge and do it yourself or else get it checked at a gas station near you.
Learn to drive better and more wisely
Driving wiser includes driving a little slower than you normally do (that is if you’re the speeding type). Driving at slower speeds requires lesser fuel since the aerodynamic drag on your car is lesser too. But that doesn’t mean you have to drive at a crawl-pace to get to where you’re going.
Driving slower also means you need to use your brakes less often. The more you brake, the more heat your car produces, and the more fuel it consumes. Drive according to the situation. If you’re in the city, accelerate slower and brake softer. On the highway, accelerate faster if needed and let your car coast whenever possible.
Use apps that help save gas
Since different gas stations offer gas at different prices, you can use apps that help you find the cheapest gas near you. Gas Guru and Gas Buddy are two such mobile apps that collect relevant information from gas stations. They show you where you can fill up your tank for the cheapest price. Also, check if your favorite gas station or brand has a loyalty program. This allows you to save money every time you buy from them.