If you’ve driven or watched the news anytime within the past few months, you have undoubtedly noticed the increasing gas prices throughout the world. One has to wonder where the days went when you could fill up your gas tank for $20.
The fact is that the days of cheap gas prices are over. The average price for unleaded (or regular) gas in the US today is $3.59, about 80 cents more expensive than the average price for gas just a year ago. It is unfortunate that because of world events and inflation, we have to fork over a whole day’s pay to fill up our gas tank, but there is a silver lining. Not only are car manufacturer’s creating cars with high gas mileage ratings these days, but there are also many things consumers can do themselves that will help save them a few bucks by reducing the amount of time spent at the pump.
So if you’re in the mood to save a few dollars and increase your gas mileage, follow these simple but useful tips:
- Check your tire pressure at least once a month. Keeping your tires properly inflated will improve your gas mileage by up to 3.3 percent. Properly inflated tires are also safer and last longer.
- Get your oil changed on a regular basis. Doing this helps your car perform better, and when this happens, it gets better gas mileage. Consider using the manufacturer’s recommended oil grade, which can affect your gas mileage by 1-2 percent.
- Combine your trips. Plan your route ahead of time and try to combine errands and activities to reduce the amount of miles you drive around. Consider ways to carpool to work or activities and look into public transportation options in your area. Driving less means using less fuel. It’s just that simple.
- Slow down, calm down. We know it can be difficult to resist the urge to drive 75 on the highway or to hit the pedal to the metal after sitting at a five minute light when you’re already running late. However, if you want to save money, it is important to slow down and drive less aggressive. Acceleration/deceleration habits have the greatest impact on your gas mileage and fuel efficiency. Drive at a steady pace within the speed limit to save on gas.
- Reduce your load. Take objects out of your trunk and interior that you do not need with you. Every extra pound weighs down the car and can reduce gas mileage.
- Adapt more efficient car care habits. We’re not talking about maintenance, though it is important to get regular tune ups to maintain a good running car. What we are saying is don’t leave your car idling, use cruise control on long distance, flat surfaces, and use your overdrive. These three habits will save you 1-2 percent in your gas mileage.
- Use your AC. The long standing myth that says that using your AC will greatly reduce your gas mileage has been proven false. Using your AC at high speeds is better than keeping your windows and sun roof open, as this creates drag and makes your car work harder. However, if you are doing city-driving at lower speeds, opening your windows is the better option (if it’s not too hot).
About Carol Leginus
Carol Leginus is responsible for the administration/maintenance of Uni-Select public websites. She supports e-commerce, e-business and data warehouse initiatives.
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