Even when the price of oil is lower, we can all use more tips to save gas. History has shown us that the prices will just go right up again and in tough economic, as well as environmental, times, it's best to go light on the fuel as much as possible.
Basic Tips to Save Gas
No matter what the size of your vehicle or its standard mileage, you can definitely save gas just with a few simple habits. Although the initial savings may not seem like much, you'll be impressed as you watch them add up over the months.
- One great tip comes straight from President Obama. Keeping your tires properly inflated can save as much as $300 a year.
- The more weight you place in your car, the more gas you use on every trip. Many people carry far more stuff in the trunk than they need to on a regular basis, and this costs money.
- Maintain a steady pace when driving. Just as with a computer, the starting of the engine uses the most gas, but if you then peel out with a screech of rubber, you've just used a lot more. Aggressive drivers use about 35% more gas than their easygoing counterparts.
- You also want to be sure your engine remains properly tuned. The right oil and good air filters help keep your car at its most efficient.
Some tips to save gas raise eyebrows depending on the area. For example, those who live in cold climates have always run the car a long time before starting to drive on a brisk winter day. However, most vehicles only need about 30 to 45 seconds of warm-up time before they are ready to go. And while you're idling, do not rev the engine! It doesn't warm up the car any faster and is a fuel-suck.
In addition to driving at a steady pace, you should also keep to posted speed limits. Obviously, this will keep you from getting ticketed, but it will also give you as much as 20% better mileage.
You probably know that using the air conditioner, especially in older cars, will also use a lot of gas, but on the highway, you're best off rolling up the windows and keeping the AC on. The open windows will cause drag and decrease your fuel efficiency by as much as 10%.
For those who want to really mix their environmentalism with economic tips to save gas, look to ways in which reducing the impact on your wallet can also seriously reduce your carbon footprint. Driving more efficiently is good for the planet, but leaving the car at home and walking or biking instead is excellent for your wallet and hips, as well as the planet. Taking public transportation is also ideal. Parents with errands to run and small children to tow may feel this is impossible, but try it a few times and see. The new strollers are easy to manipulate through crowded streets and have a lot of storage space, so you can combine shopping with a nice walk. It's more relaxing and better for you and your kids, plus, it begins to teach your kids the value of going green.
Since most families in the country need at least one car, when it's time to get a new one, set your sights on something fuel efficient. Hybrid vehicles are the best and most practical choice right now. At their worst, they still get over 40 miles to the gallon, so the savings can be phenomenal. But if you need to get something cheaper, look for a car that gets at least 30 miles to the gallon. That, combined with some of the other mentioned fuel-saving tips, will help you save hundreds in gas each year.