Through a combination of car maintenance, smart driving habits, and driving less, you can really save money at the pump. In addition to spending less on gas, the eight strategies in this article help you save money on car repairs, decrease the risk of accidents and free up extra time.
1. Check Your Tire Pressure
The recommended tire pressure is usually somewhere between 30-35 PSI. Check your tires once a month. If they’re low, use the air machines found at gas stations to fill them. It takes 5-10 minutes and can improve gas mileage by up to 3%.
2. Drive the Speed Limit
Driving above 60 mph (96 km/h) requires your car to burn fuel faster which causes it to burn it less efficiently. By going the speed limit, you travel the same distance but use less fuel. Plus, speeding doesn’t actually save you that much time unless you are going on a 500+ mile trip.
3. Tint Your Windows
Get your windows tinted as dark as your state allows. Darker windows block sun more effectively, keeping the inside of your car cooler. This takes the burden off of your AC to keep you cool on hot days. The less you rely on AC, the less fuel you burn.
4. Organize a Carpool
Carpooling can reduce the amount of gas you’re using to get to and from work. Instead of driving to work, drive to a coworker who lives near you and then go to work together. You can split the cost of gas and have a more enjoyable commute.
5. Use Public Transit
Taking public transit to work not only costs less but it frees up that commute time for other activities like reading a book or catching up on your favorite TV show. Find out what kind of transit options are available in your area and plan your morning commute.
6. Accelerate and Brake Slowly
Just as high speeds decrease fuel economy, so does rapid acceleration. Ease the gas pedal down slowly to build speed over a greater distance. Also, look ahead and anticipate the need to slow down or brake and start decreasing speed earlier to avoid constantly switching from braking to accelerating.
7. Fill Your Tank in the Morning
Gas gets denser as it gets colder. Studies show that by refueling at temperatures below 59° F, you get about 2.5% more gas than if you bought the same number of gallons when the temperature was 95° F. It’s not a huge increase but those pennies will add up to some real savings if you make it a habit to refuel in the morning.
8. Go Online for Everyday Errands
Errands, like refilling medications, renewing prescriptions, and shopping for everyday items, can now be done online. Not only are you saving time, you also save gas by not driving to and from appointments, grocery stores, or pharmacies.
By using all eight of these strategies, you’ll be able to see some measurable savings at the pump. You’ll also be spending less time driving and running errands. Just think of what you’ll be able to do with that extra money and extra time!