Gas prices are up and the economy is down. Everyone is looking for ways to save money wherever and however they can. There are a few simple ways you can stretch your dollar at the gas pump just by making a few adjustments to your driving habits.
1. Proper Tire Pressure Saves an Estimated $0.02 Per Gallon
Believe it or not, improper tire pressure can not only lower the lifespan of your tires, but it can also lower your vehicle’s fuel economy. Under-inflated tires can lower your gas mileage by 0.2% for every pound per square inch (PSI) they are under the recommended optimal PSI.
To find out your tire’s optimal pressure, check the driver’s manual or the sticker inside your car’s door jamb. Be sure to check your tires at the very minimum once a month, and in colder or fluctuating temperatures it helps to check them at least once a week.
2. Take It Easy on the Gas and Brakes to Save an Average of $0.20 to $0.45 Per Gallon
When you drive at speeds over 50 miles per hour, your gas mileage decreases exponentially. The harder your engine works, the more gas it takes to keep it going. In fact, for every 5 mph over 50 mph you drive, you could be costing yourself over $0.23 per gallon.
It’s not just driving fast that eats up your fuel. When you constantly accelerate quickly and brake suddenly, it causes your car’s engine to burn fuel faster and waste gasoline. It’s recommended that you slowly accelerate, stay within the speed limit, and ease on the brakes for optimum gas mileage.
3. Keep Your Car’s Engine Properly Tuned Up to Save an Estimated $0.15 Per Gallon
Newer vehicles should be inspected and tuned up on average every 20k miles. Maintaining and repairing your vehicle not only ensures that it is safe to drive, but it can also save you money on every gallon of gas.
A properly running engine can improve your gas mileage by approximately 4%, and fixing a faulty part such as a bad oxygen sensor could save you nearly 40% in fuel costs. A Bay Area car accident attorney can help you if you’ve been the victim of an accident caused by a serious maintenance issue.
4. Turning Your Engine Off Can Save You Approximately $0.02 Per Minute
It might seem counterintuitive to start and stop your car’s engine several times per day, but newer engines are actually made to do just that. Sitting in a drive-thru with the engine running for several minutes can cost you more in fuel than shutting the engine off when you know you won’t be moving.
If you know you’ll be sitting in place for more than 10 seconds, you can save yourself pennies per minute in fuel costs just by turning off the engine. The savings can increase if you’re using the air conditioning or heater. This may not apply to older vehicles, so be sure to check your owner’s manual.
5. Consider Purchasing a More Fuel-Efficient Vehicle
Larger vehicles with heavy-duty engines can have fuel economy in the teens when it comes to MPG. Newer vehicles with a good Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) rating of 30 MPG or more, will save you a ton of money at the pump. They’re also much better for the environment.