Gas prices may be going down but it's always a great idea to be thinking about saving money on the road by doing some little things to get better fuel mileage and save your fuel. Thanks to our friends at AutoInsuranceQuotes.org for contributing to these ideas.
One of the best ways to save gas is to share the responsibility of driving. Not only does carpooling take the load off because you don’t have to drive every day, but you can also get to your destination quicker by taking the HOV lanes if your city has them. Carpooling makes your fuel go further and is better for the environment. What could be better?
2. Take cover
Opting for shaded parking spots and covered garages will keep your car cool and reduce gasoline waste from having to run your A/C at full blast for long periods of time to make your vehicle habitable.
3. Run your errands in one trip
This tip just makes good common sense. Driving all over Timbuktu isn't very efficient and causes you to burn more gas than you really need to. Reduce your fuel consumption by running errands in one efficient outing. On your way home from the beach, baseball game, or museum, make a point to pick up your dry cleaning, go to the bank, stop at the grocery store, and take care of as many errands as possible before you call it a day. Grouping your errands together will prevent unnecessary trips and help you conserve your gas.
4. Roll down/up the windows
Whether this saves gas or not depends on what speed you're driving. If you're not on the highway, you can roll them down. Take in the sunshine and save a little gas by rolling down your car windows and turning off the a/c this summer. According to the experts at Popular Mechanics, if you’re driving below 55 mph, you can save fuel by opening the windows and turning off the a/c. If you’re driving 60 mph or higher, keep the windows closed and let the a/c run so you burn less fuel.
5. Keep your tires inflated
Tire pressure is a forgotten thing but actually plays an important role in your overall fuel economy. Underinflated tires can cause the vehicle to drag and waste gas (as well as wear the tires out faster on the edges). Keeping your tires properly inflated and monitoring the pressure several times a month can help you save precious gas and keep you safe on the road. Check the doorjam for the sticker that tells you what pressure they should be at. Many tires also have the recommended pressure stamped on the side.
6. Treat your ethanol fuel to recapture lost mileage
The E10 (soon to be E15) available at most gas stations is lowering gas mileage all across the country. How much it takes away varies by vehicle but it's enough to make people complain about it. A quality ethanol treatment like Ethanol Defense or Mix-I-Go can help restore this lost mileage. A couple of things to keep in mind if you're going to treat ethanol fuel. First, make sure whatever you choose doesn't contain alcohol. Ethanol gasoline has other problems and adding more alcohol to the ethanol will only make them worse. Second, watch out for your treat cost with any kind of additive. Many ethanol treatments, especially the ones that are the dump-the-whole-bottle-in kind end up costing you 15-20 cents per gallons if they're reallllly cheap (and don't do anything) maybe 40-50 cents per gallon if they're more in line with market price. One thing Bell Performance tries to do is make concentrated ethanol treatments that end up costing less than 10 cents a gallon in the end. A fuel additive is only worth using if it's going to save you more than it costs you. Watching out for the treat cost is a good way to know if you're getting a good deal or not.
This post was published on June 29, 2012 and was updated on May 21, 2019.