Recent data provided by the Energy Information Administration shows that the prices of gas have increased drastically since 2009, from as low as $1.83 a gallon to over $4.00 in some areas. There is no way to predict when prices may drop, or if they ever will.
So, now that the cost of gas is constantly on the rise we have all had to do our best to conserve gas by learning how to be more frugal. Luckily, there are numerous simple ways to save yourself some money before you ever reach the gas pump.
1. It’s No Longer Necessary To Warm Up Your Car For Longer Than A Minute
If you own a newer model car or truck it is not necessary anymore to let it sit and warm up on extremely cold mornings. This burns a lot of gas and only benefits older model cars. So keep the warming up to less than a minute to conserve gas in the mornings.
2. Keep Driving to a Minimum
One of the simplest things to do is to plan your outings to one day. For example, if you don’t live right in town it may be a good idea to plan your grocery shopping, errands etc. all into one day. Try to make the best of your trips to town.
3.Interstate vs. City?
We’ve all heard about how gas mileage is better on the interstate than in the city. Well this is true, so it is a good idea to plan your route ahead of time. Even if you are not on the interstate it’s better to take the road that has the least amount of stop signs and traffic lights. The less stopping and going you are doing the better.
4. You’re not a Race Car Driver!
Driving slower and at a steady pace will get you to where you are going as well as speeding there. However, you may just get there with more gas in your tank. It’s a proven fact that driving more carefully and not speeding up and slowing down constantly uses a lot less gas.
5. Early Morning Gas Purchases
If you purchase gas in the mornings on your way to work you will actually get more gas especially in the hot summer months. This is simply because the gas is denser since its cooler in the mornings or at night.
6. Purchase Gas Away From the Interstates!
Most gas stations near the interstate charge higher prices due to the convenience. If it’s possible you should drive a little ways off the exit and you’ll notice a drop in prices.
7. Be More Aerodynamic
One thing that you may have noticed is that some people who drive trucks keep their tailgates down because this supposedly helps with wind resistance. Other people use taneau covers on the beds of their trucks. Also, if you have bike racks on the top of your cars or SUV’s, you should remove them if you aren’t using them. The more aerodynamic your car or truck is the better gas mileage you will get.
8.Check Your Tires
Believe it or not your tires contribute to the amount of gas you use. If your tires are low, air them up ASAP and always keep a watch on the pressure in them. The correct air pressure will help you get the most out of your gas mileage. Also, remember to change snow tires in the summer, they waste gas if used on dry surfaces.
9. Don’t Use Brakes Excessively
Don’t follow the car in front of you too closely; this causes you to use your brakes more than normal. It’s better to follow at a safe distance and not brake too often. This helps gas mileage by keeping the wear and tear to a minimum.
10.Long Waits; Turn It Off!
We all hate sitting at a railroad crossing or in a long line. So if you find yourself doing this just turn your car off while you wait. Leaving the car idling in park is one of the leading ways that burn unnecessary gas.
11. Don’t Run on Empty
Don’t drive your car until it’s completely on empty or the gas light is on before you fill it back up. This is horrible for the fuel pump and fuel filter. Not to mention the fuel pump can be a real pain to change if you can do it yourself, and can be very costly to have done by a professional. A good rule of thumb is filling it back up when it hits the half tank mark.
12. Keep Up Maintenance
Fuel Filters and fuel pumps are not the only things you need to worry about. There are other filters as well as simple maintenance that you can do to keep your car running its best, which in turn keeps the gas expenses to a minimum. The Air Filter is one thing that many of us wouldn’t think would affect the gas. However, when it’s replaced it can improve gas mileage by over ten percent. Also, always keep the engine tuned. This point can’t be stressed enough, and don’t ever miss the 3,000 mile oil change! Research and find out what oil is best used for your mileage, for example cars with higher mileage tend to do better with Castrol 5W20 or 20W50.
13. Fuel System Cleaners
There are also some affordable fuel system cleaners that you pour right into your fuel tank that helps it run more efficiently. These products can be found at most gas stations as well as your local Auto Parts store. They are also very simple to use, when you fill up your tank you simply pour the bottle into the gas tank.
14. Change Spark Plugs and Coils
Most spark plugs and coils are supposed to last over 100,000 miles. But, if you change them more often that is okay. They are relatively cheap and can be bought online for cheaper than in stores.
15. Turn Off The Air Conditioner
As miserable as it may be to not use the A/C in the summer, it does save on gas to turn it off.
16. Manual or Automatic
Although automatic transmissions are easier to drive, they use more gas. So if you don’t have a preference to either you should go with a manual transmission. They are usually cheaper to purchase as well as cheaper on gas. So you really can’t go wrong.
If you choose to drive an automatic use the cruise control when you can, especially on the interstates. Unless you are driving over a lot of hills this will help.
18. Weekends vs. Weekdays
Fill up your tank on weekdays, preferably before Thursdays because gas prices rise on weekends.
A debate about rather some gas stations have better gas than others has been ongoing. However, it is rumored that some gas that is supposed to be better actually burns more slowly. Gas from places such as Shell, Chevron and Texaco are supposed to be better than others. And the gas from these stores doesn’t have such a harsh effect on your fuel filters and pumps as other places.
20. Apps and Websites
Apps are now available on all smart phones that compare and actually give you the best gas prices in your area. This takes all of the work out of shopping around and makes your life so much easier. Some of the most popular apps to download are:
- Gas Buddy is rated #1 on Android PlayStore. You not only have the option of finding the cheapest gas, but you can report where you’ve found the cheapest process to help others out. You also have a chance to win $100 free gas each day.
- Gas Guru helps you save time by not only locating cheapest gas but also hotels and restaurants.
- Fuel Finder is strictly available on iPhones and has been voted #1. Although it’s not free it is cheap to purchase at only $2.99 and keeps you up to the minute by refreshing newest prices every five minutes.
- Gas Cubby is free and not only searches for best gas prices, but also keeps up with your maintenance for your car.
With so many people now commuting to work saving money on gas has become a major worry. Hybrid Cars have now become an option to help save some money. However, there are many cars that are fuel efficient that are not hybrid and these non-hybrid cars can now get over 40 miles per gallon. This is excellent news for those who drive long distances every day.
It doesn’t look like the price of gas is going to be dropping any time soon, so take a few minutes and figure out what you can do to help keep some money in your pocket by saving on your gas purchases. With so many simple things to do you’re sure to see a difference immediately.