One of the best ways to stretch out your family’s budget is by doing what you can to save gas. With just a few simple, easy adjustments to your driving and car-maintenance habits, you can save gas and money. Best of all, when you save gas, you are doing your part to help save the environment.
1. To Save Gas: Be a Sensible DriverOne of the most effect ways to save gas is too change the way you drive. Aggressive driving behavior such as speeding and weaving in and out of traffic forces your engine to work harder and can lower your gas mileage by as much as 33 percent on the highway and 5 percent around town. And be sure not to speed. A car’s optimal gas mileage speed can vary depending on its make and model, but on average, following the speed limit can save you 7 to 10 percent on gas.
2. To Save Gas: Use Your Cruise ControlTurning on your cruise control on the highway will help you maintain a constant speed and help you save gas.
3. To Save Gas: Time Your TripsParents can easily rack up several trips a day taking kids to soccer or little league games or running errands like grocery shopping or picking up dry cleaning. But starting a cold engine uses up a lot of energy (it can take twice as much gas to make several trips with stops and starts in between them as it does to cover the same distance in one long trip). To save gas, combine your trips as much as possible.
4. To Save Gas: Don’t Idle Your EngineNo only is idling your engine bad for the environment, but it can also be illegal in some states and municipalities, particularly around schools. It may be tempting just to leave the engine running while you run and get the kids from school or a game, but doing so for more than 30 seconds wastes gas, particularly if you have a bigger engine. Another way to look at it: Idling gets you zero miles per gallon.
5. To Save Gas: Lighten Your LoadAn extra 100 lbs. in the trunk can reduce fuel efficiency by 1 to 2 percent. To save gas, take unnecessary items out of the car. Another way to save gas: If you have a roof rack that isn’t being used, remove it to reduce aerodynamic drag.
6. To Save Gas: Change Your CommuteTalk to your employer about the possibility of adjusting your workday so that you spend less time sitting in traffic during rush hour. Look for carpools or ride-share programs.
7. To Save Gas: Keep Your Car Well-TunedRoutine maintenance is an important and effective way to save gas. Cleaning carbon build up and replacing spark plugs, wires and other parts can help your engine run at its highest efficiency, improving gas mileage by an average of 4 percent. Fixing serious problems, such as replacing a faulty oxygen sensor, can improve mileage by as much as 40 percent. Other ways to save gas: Changing a clogged air filter can boost your gas mileage by as much as 10 percent. And keep your tires properly inflated and aligned to reduce rolling resistance to improve gas mileage by about 3.3 percent.