I had to go to the gas station yesterday, and I put in $20. Uuuhhh...Not even a half-full tank (yes, I was on empty pulling in to the pump), and I've got an average sized car (park that SUV people, gas is expensive)! With prices at $112 for one barrel of oil, and over $5 for one gallon of gas in some places, I'm trying to save the gas that I do put in the tank. So, here are some ways that you could improve your gas mileage and stretch those dollars when it comes to fueling that car.
1. Don't idle!!!
- Newer engines don't even need to warm up for that long. If you've got an older model car, warm it up, but don't over do it.
- Going to a fast food place? Skip the drive-thru. Turn off the engine, and go inside. Or, if you're really that strapped for time, turn your engine off while waiting.
2. Check your tire pressure.
- Under-inflated tires wear out quicker, and they eat your gas.
3. Change or clean your car's air filter.
- A dirty air filter is like those under-inflated tires. Sometimes you don't even need to change the filter, you can clean it out with an air compressor until the next time you get that oil change.
4. Turn off your air conditioner.
- You don't need it on all the time. When it's on, it's sucking your car's power. You can turn it off when you're climbing up hills, and then turn it back on again. Do this, and you'll see...hear...your car's power increase/decrease.
- Turn off the A/C once your car is cool enough inside. You can just let the fan run to keep the air flowing. Switch it back on if it starts to get stuffy again.
5. Clean the car out! Empty that trunk.
- If you have stuff just hanging out in the trunk, not only is it just taking up space, it's making your car work harder with the extra weight. Clean out the trunk and the inside of the car to lighten the load.
6. Finally...Maintain a steady speed. Approach those stop lights and stop signs slowly, and then accelerate slowly (you don't need to go from 0-45 in 30 seconds - there's no race to be won, so slow down).
- Yep, sometimes people behind me get mad because I'm driving too slow for them. Oh well, I'm not wasting my gas just to get them off my bumper! And I'm not saying to drive so slow that you hold up traffic either. I'm just saying to maintain a steady speed, use cruise control on the freeway. When you know there's a stop light or stop sign coming up, there's no need to accelerate when you know you're gonna stop anyway. Slow down a little. It will pay off at the pump. Really.