Here are 7 Ways to Save Gas

March 26, 2012

Spring is upon us and gas prices are going up to its usual insane levels.

While staying at home is the best way to save on gas, the nice weather tempts us all to fill up our SUVs and Minivans and go on a road trip.

But it’s not always the type of car that determines your gas mileage. Your driving habits are just as important.

Follow these seven tips to save your precious gas dollars.

Don’t Race to a Traffic Light

Use some judgement when approaching a traffic light. I often see people flooring their cars so they can be the first to reach the next red light.

This is not a race to the next light. It’s a waste of gas and puts enormous stress on your engine and transmission. Remember that accelerating from a standstill is when your car consumes the most gas.

I usually accelerate slowly until I reach 30 mph. I’ve been honked at a few times for accelerating slowly but that’s their problem not mine.

Use Your Cruise Control

Using your cruise control is a must for long distance driving. It’s hard to keep the same speed when you’re juggling your Starbucks coffee in one hand and your cell phone in the other.

It also prevents you from going over the speed limit because you’re maintaining a constant speed.

I like it because it frees up my leg and makes long distance driving a little less stressful.

Know When to Use the AC

Using the AC during stop and go traffic is a big waste of gas. Unless the temperature is 100 degrees, I usually crack open the windows and let the fresh air cool me down.

The only time when you should turn on the AC is when you’re on the highway. Opening the windows at highway speeds will actually burn more gas because of wind resistance.

Clear the Trunk

Get rid of all the junk you have in the trunk.

I remember when I used to store everything in my trunk.

After cleaning my trunk I can’t say that I noticed an increase in gas mileage but it certainly will not hurt to lighten the load.

Some people go as far as removing the spare tire to save weight. Not a good idea. You don’t want to be stranded in the middle of nowhere.

Replace Your Air Filter

A dirty air filter can reduce gas mileage by 10%. They are cheap to buy and easy to replace.

The air filter for my 98 Camry runs around 10 bucks. My local oil change shop charges 22 dollars for something that takes less than five minutes.

Change the filter yourself and save the 12 bucks for gas.

Drive the Speed Limit

The faster you travel on the highway the more wind resistance your car has to endure. This results in decreased gas mileage.

Speeding can earn you a traffic ticket and an increase in insurance premiums.

Not only is speeding bad for your wallet but it can increase your chances of an accident.

Check Your Tires

I admit that I sometimes forget to check the pressure in my tires. Improperly inflated tires can decrease gas mileage by 3% or more.

Having low pressure not only decreases gas mileage but also increases wear and tear on the tires. Make it a habit to check your tires once a week.

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