Get More Miles for Your Gas Gallon - How to Cut Your Auto Fuel Bills
Every car driver would rather keep money in their own wallet than hand it over at the filling station, and as gas prices move relentlessly upward, keeping fuel costs under control is increasingly important. This blog offers real-world tips on how to get the best gas efficiency out of your car.
As the years pass, gas prices are only heading in one way - and it's not a direction that will please your wallet. It may not be as painful to fill your tank each week as it is to buy your auto insurance policy, but over time gas costs mount up to a major driving expense, and this is only likely to get worse as oil reserves start to dwindle.
A global trend is to move toward smaller cars with more efficient engines or to leave gas behind altogether and switch to electric, but you don't need to sell your auto just yet if you want to get more miles for your gallon and reduce your gas costs. What can you do to drive your gas bills down?
Follow a Constant Pace
If you're constantly accelerating and braking, trying to squeeze every bit of speed out of the road, your engine is using far more energy than if you drove at a more sedate and constant pace. Also, find out your vehicle's most efficient cruising speed for long highway drives. A few miles per hour higher or lower won't make a huge difference to your journey time, but it will to your gas consumption rate.
Don't Sit Idling
In older cars, starting the engine used a huge amount of gas to kick it into life, but modern vehicles are much more efficient. If you're likely to be stationary for ten seconds or more, then switching your engine off rather than idling will put you ahead when it comes to saving fuel. However, be careful - in some jurisdictions, switching off your engine while on the public highway is illegal, so save this for the roadside rather than at stoplights or in traffic jams.
Similarly, modern engines don't need the traditional warming-up period in colder weather. The best way to warm the engine is to start driving as soon as you can after it's turned on, rather than leaving it idling for a few minutes before setting off.
Lighten Your Load
When was the last time you gave your auto a thorough tidy? Do you have unneeded items in your trunk or interior that could be easily taken out and left at home? Every extra pound of weight in your car will increase your gas consumption. It may not seem like much, but over the course of a full year the extra weight your engine needs to carry can add up to a surprising cost in unnecessary gas consumption.
Cut Your Journeys
While it may be second nature to hop into your car for each and every journey, do you really need to do this? Many shorter trips could easily be made on foot, which will have benefits for your health as well as your gas bill. Also, a little planning and organization can go a long way -combining your errands and trips into as few outings as possible can greatly reduce unnecessary fuel consumption.
If your tire pressure is too low, your gas use will increase, as your auto meets more resistance to rolling over the pavement on sluggish tires.