Ways To Spend Less Money On Gas

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  • Go online to one of the gas-price comparison sites such as fuelmeup.com.  Then just enter your zip code.  It will tell you the current price of gas at most every station within a few miles of your home!  The range can be as mush as 20 cents per gallon!
  • Get gas on the right day.  Gas prices are often a few pennies higher on weekends, due to all those people running errands and going on car trips.
  • Don’t “top off” your tank.  Those little squirts of gas you try to add to your tank at the end of a filling often end up staying in the hose.  That means you’ve actually given away gas to the next user of the pump.
  • Tighten that cap.  Ask your mechanic to make sure your gas cap is in perfect shape.  Close to 20 percent of cars have damaged or loose (or even missing) gas caps–resulting in almost 150 million gallons of gas being vaporized annually.  Loose gas caps will often set off your engine light, costing you even more at the mechanic.
  • Don’t get tired.  Under-inflated tires can reduce gas mileage by 10 percent or more.  Adjust your tire pressure every other fill-up!
  • Change your air filter.  Clogged or dirty air filters can reduce gas mileage by as much as 10 percent.  They’re not hard to change yourself either!
  • Drive, don’t idle.  You may want to warm up your car on cold mornings by letting it idle, but your not doing your car or your wallet, any favors.  Your car’s engine warms up faster when you drive; idling wastes time and about a quart of gas every 15 minutes.  If your car struggles in the morning cold, it probably means your engine needs a tune-up.
  • Don’t forget: Slow and steady wins the race.  Drivers can improve mileage by anywhere from 12 percent to 55 percent-it’s true!-by following the speed limit and swearing off aggressive driving.  Hard starts and hard stops are a terrible waste of gas.  For the very best fuel economy, avoid rapid acceleration and coast as long as you can into your stops, so they are always gentle and require minimal braking.
  • Always wear soft-soled shoes when driving.  If you have a heavy shoe, or a shoe that has a very hard sole, you naturally push harder on the gas pedal, speeding you up and wasting gas.  Light shoes with soft, spongy soles make you drive slower.  Consistently calmer, slower driving can save you hundreds a year.
  • Keep windows shut and air-conditioning off.  If the fan just isn’t enough relief from the heat, follow this rule:  Open your windows at under 40 mph, and use air-conditioning above that level.  At low speeds, you waste less gas from the air drag of an open window than you do by running the AC.  Above 40 mph, air drag goes up, and so should your windows.  Fan speed does not affect fuel economy, by the way, so if you use the air conditioner, blast it and then shut it off.
  • Follow the rule of three.  Do your errands in batches of three or more.  Nothing wastes gas like a cold drive to the store and back for a single item.  And since modern cars don’t become fully efficient until the engine is warmed up, drive to the furthest errand first and work your way back–a series of short stop and start trips will never allow your car to reach maximum efficiency.
  • Park it where the sun doesn’t shine.  Every time you park in the sun, some of the gas in your tank is lost to evaporation.  The savvy driver will find a shady spot to park, even in the winter.  And speaking of parking, always park so that you can pull forward rather than waste gas backing up.  Over time, it really does make a difference.
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