If it seems like your car is chugging down gasoline faster than Shaq can drink a bottle of Gatorade, then these tips are for you. You’ll find that most of these nine ways to save money on gas for your car, truck, and other vehicles are fairly easy to implement. Doing just a few of these things should result in a fuller gas tank and wallet.
1. Get GasBuddy
GasBuddy is a website that helps you to find the lowest gas prices in your area. I use it all the time. You can search by city and state or simply enter your zip code. GasBuddy will then give you the names and addresses of gas stations in your neighborhood, along with their current gas pump prices and distance from you.
GasBuddy also offers an app that you can download to your smartphone. Yes, there are other web sites that will provide gas prices in your town. But I like GasBuddy. Plus, when you sign up you could win a prepaid gas card.
2. Steer Clear of Bumper to Bumper Traffic
When your car or truck is sitting in traffic that’s at a virtual standstill, it is still consuming gasoline almost as fast as when you’re driving. So to avoid wasting gas in this manner, change your driving strategy to keep your vehicle moving toward the desired destination.
Yes, I know, it’s easier said than done. But here are some things you can do:
- Listen to traffic bulletins on your automobile radio and reroute your vehicle to avoid reported bottlenecks and accidents.
- Take faster moving side streets.
- Start your trip a little earlier or later when traffic is less congested.
- Download a traffic app to your smartphone and let it help you determine the best and most fuel efficient way to get to where you’re going.
3. Use Lower Octane Level Gasoline
Many vehicle owners think that their car has to use the highest premium octane level gasoline. This may be true for a small percentage of high performance cars, but not so for most.
And if you’re pumping higher octane gas into your car than is recommended by the manufacturer, you’re just wasting money. So pull out the owner’s manual for your car or truck and use the type of gasoline it suggests.
4. Stop Speeding
If you didn’t know it already, fast and aggressive driving can have a significantly negative impact on fuel efficiency. For example, a recent study has found that for every 5 miles per hour (mph) you drive over 50 mph it costs you an additional 25 cents per gallon.
So, if you’re in the habit of driving 70 mph on the highway, you’re wasting $1 per gallon of gasoline. Of course, this may vary a little from vehicle to vehicle. Sounds ridiculously high doesn’t it? I thought so, too.
But don’t take my word for it. Check out thiis government web site that is all about Fuel Economy. Of all the ways to save money on gas, I think this one would have the biggest impact, don’t you?
5. Keep Fluids at Proper Levels
Fluids for your brakes and transmission, as well as oil, serve a very helpful purpose. They keep parts in your car lubricated and functioning smoothly. And when there’s less friction, your car will use gasoline more efficiently. That translates into more miles per gallon.
So have your car’s fluids checked and replaced according to the timeframes outlined in the owner’s manual.
6. Get a More Fuel Efficient Car
If you’re driving a full-size truck, SUV, or large car, and the fuel economy is sucking your wallet dry, then consider getting a more fuel efficient vehicle. There are several cars on the market today that are rated to get over 50 miles per gallon of gasoline.
Plus, you may be eligible for hefty state or federal government tax credits if you buy one.
7. Avoid Driving
If you live close to work or other places that you normally drive to, then consider another mode of transportation. There are a number of options such as using a scooter, bicycle, bus, or even walking.
And whenever you think about going somewhere, ask yourself it’s a necessary trip or if it can be combined with a future errand.
8. Go Out of Town to Fill Up
If you live in a big city, the price of a gallon of gas could be higher than prices in the suburbs because of additional taxes. So do the math, and if it makes sense to fill up your car out of town, then by all means go for it.
9. Make Sure Tires are Properly Inflated
Just like lubricants help to reduce friction inside your engine, properly inflated and balanced tires lessen the friction between your car and the road. Having your tires properly inflated can enhance gas mileage by up to 3.3 percent.
Conversely, under-inflated tires can reduce your gas mileage by that same amount or more.
In conclusion, I hope you find these nine ways to save money on gas to be useful. Gasoline is a necessary expense for most of us, and it is a big part of the household budget. But as you can see, with just a little effort, there are ways to save quite a bit of money.