As gas prices continue to rise we can look to the past for ways to adjust. We have very little control over the price of a gallon of gas.
What if you find ways to use less gas? That can give the same results.
Here are some tried and true methods to help you use less gas – and save more when you really need it.
1. Ride Share – if you work in a larger city there are likely ride share programs. Don’t forget about buses, trains, taxis, Lyft, and Uber. When you add parking & time – even paying Uber may cost you less.
2. Walk More – Do you live in a neighborhood where you can walk to the carryout or playground or even school? Walk the kids to a playdate instead of hopping back in the car. All of the short trips add up.
3. Empty Your Trunk – Any extra weight you carry in your vehicle takes more energy to carry. Take some time to empty your trunk. According to the Environmental Protection Agency’s fueleconomy.gov, shedding 100 pounds can improve your car’s fuel economy by as much as 2%. Remove roof racks or bike racks if not in use.
4. Use the AC in warmer weather – We thought rolling down windows was saving gas by not using the air conditioner. Wrong! Today’s cars are made to be aerodynamic with the windows rolled up. When you roll down the windows you introduce resistance through drag.
5. Slow Down – The best speed for optimum fuel efficiency ranges from 40 to 55 miles per hour. You will lose 1 to 2 % of your fuel economy for every mile over 55. This increases exponentially. Meaning the faster you drive the worse your gas mileage.
6. Avoid fast-breaking – Speeding up to slam on the breaks at a red light is not only a bad practice, it is costing you money in gas and wear & tear on your vehicle
7. Avoid fast acceleration – just like fast-breaking, it is dangerous and costly. A consistent speed is the best practice. Practice slower acceleration and slower breaking. Make it a game until it becomes a habit. Oftentimes, traffic lights are timed to about 2 to 3 miles just under the speed limit.
8. Check your tire inflation – Improperly inflated tires are a gas guzzler. You can expect to increase your gas mileage by 3.3% with proper inflation. An underinflated tire also ages 10% faster. Check your inflation – the proper inflation recommended is usually on a sticker on the driver’s side door jam. Remember tire pressure does need to be checked regularly. Temperature, climate, and use all change the pressure in your tires. Weekly checks are recommended.
9. Make sure your vehicle is tuned up – A well-running vehicle uses less gas. Just like low air levels in tires, low fluid levels, clogged filters, and frayed belts all affect gas mileage. According to fueleconomy.gov, it is been reported that fixing a faulty oxygen sensor can improve your mileage by as much as 40 percent. That is huge. There are other maintenance fixes that can help.
10. Get a gas app – GasBuddy – is reported to be the best gas app in the USA. These apps help you find the cheapest gas in your area. Prices are updated frequently and there are other gas-saving features with the app. There are also gas apps that get you cash back from your gas purchases like Trunow. This one promises cash back on every gas purchase – they also offer personalized deals on products like soda or snacks.
These are small changes you can make every day to help save on gas. Each one may help a little bit but by adding multiple tips and tricks you can accumulate some real savings.
Look at cars with better mileage. Improved gas mileage in a vehicle is saving every time you fill the tank.
Here is a Mileage Calculator to compare car mileage from the US Department of Energy.
The real answer to ever-rising gas costs is to stop using the gas altogether. Electric cars cost about half of what gas guzzlers cost to run. If you are considering looking at new cars, it may be time to go electric.