There are many ways to people to make small changes that add up to significant savings. When it comes to the fuel efficiency of your car, there are five simple ways that you can begin to save money before you have to gas up.
Provide routine maintenance for your car.
This will include taking your car in, as needed, for oil changes, air filter replacement and to have the tires balanced or rotated. Using the appropriate grade of motor oil for your car will give you a one or two percent improvement in your fuel efficiency. Some other things involved in routine maintenance should include the spark plugs and timing, belt changes and any other tune-ups suggested by your mechanic or the user manual that was provided with your car when it was purchased.
You should also check to keep your tires inflated appropriately. According to US Dept. of Labor, you will be able to increase your gas efficiency about 3% when you have the tires correctly inflated. There is a sticker inside the front driver's door or inside the glove box for your reference.
Clean extra items out of your car.
The extra luggage, toys, books and other items rolling around in the car may add up to higher gas prices. The extra weight in your automobile will mean that the car must work harder to obtain driving speeds. This is mostly true if you are running errands and find yourself starting and stopping often. Cleaning your car out regularly can make it lighter and will make it more gas efficient.
(If you are doing errands, you can also roll down your windows instead of using your air conditioning to save gas. This situation reverses when you are on the freeway, then keeping your windows closed will reduce your wind resistance and improve your efficiency.)
Modify your driving habits and attitude.
The habits and attitudes taught in defensive driving classes don't just keep you out of trouble on the road, but can also save you money at the pump. The engines in automobiles weren't designed to run efficiently with rapid and repeated braking and acceleration. That type of treatment may wreak havoc in your engine in addition to drawing more gas from your fuel tank. Using the cruise control when traveling long distances, slowing down over longer distances, and increasing your speed gently are all ways to improve your fuel efficiency.
Stop idling for more than 30 seconds.
Engine idling can be a very expensive habit. There are many places where you may be spending time in an idling car without thinking much about it. Consider these situations:
- The fast food drive-through
- Pulled over while talking on the phone
- The bank drive-through
- Heating up your car on a cold morning
- Picking up and dropping off passengers during carpool
- Leaving the car running during errands
- If you are leaving your car running during these situations, or others, then you are spending money on gas, without actually getting anywhere.
Plan your errands together for one trip.
You can save money when you start your car with a warm engine as opposed to starting it with a cold engine. If you are able to organize your shopping trips and errands into one direct course, you'll be able to save yourself time, decrease the number of trips you must take and reduce the amount of gas you use when you start up your vehicle.
Following these tips can really help you to add up your savings.
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