Gas prices are on the rise yet again, though you probably don’t need us to tell you that because you probably already felt the pain the last time you were at the pump. Since there doesn’t seem to be any end in sight and buying a new electric car might not be in the picture, we thought we would share some tips to help you conserve gas and save a little extra money.
♦ Plan trips. It might seem simple, but by combining errands you can save wasted trips. Similarly, traveling at less congested times will help limit the amount of gas wasted while sitting in traffic.
♦ Don’t speed. While this is probably a good overall tip, traveling in excess of 55 miles per hour significantly increases the average car’s gas consumption.
♦ Don’t accelerate too quickly. Agreed, it’s fun to be the fastest car off the line when the light turns green, but the quicker you accelerate, the quicker your car consumes gas. Not to mention this might also be dangerous behavior which the police tend to frown upon.
♦ Use cruise control. Just like accelerating too quickly uses gas at a quicker rate, so does accelerating frequently. If you can keep a constant speed, you’ll use less gas once the car is in motion.
♦ Remove excess weight. It’s estimated that an additional 100 pounds decreases your fuel efficiency by 2%. So, if you can’t ditch your passengers, at least be sure you don’t have excess baggage that you’re toting around.
♦ Have proper tire pressure. Underinflated tires cause your car to burn more gas. Be sure your tires are inflated to the recommended pressure.
♦ Change your oil. A well-oiled machine will run efficiently - it really is that simple. Be sure all general maintenance on your car is up to date.
♦ Wait to refill. It may seem counterintuitive as prices keep going up, but gas is heavy, and the extra weight decreases your fuel efficiency – see number 5.
♦ Close your windows. There’s no better way to enjoy a beautiful spring day than to have your windows down and music up but the truth of it is that open windows makes it more difficult to propel you car forward, thereby requiring more fuel.
♦ Buy gas when it's cool outside. Gas is sold by volume, which is why we pay per gallon. Gas, however, is most dense when it is cooler, and denser gas will get you a higher combustion rate which means more bang for your buck (pun intended). For more information on this tip, consult a scientist, but for those looking for a simple gas tip, just go with it and buy gas in the morning or once the sun has set.
So the next time you find yourself doing 70 miles per hour down the highway with your windows down and golf clubs that you haven’t used for weeks in the trunk, remind yourself of these simple ways to make a gallon of gas last a little bit longer.
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