Gas prices seem to be getting even more expensive by the day thanks to rising crude oil prices, bigger retail margins and a stronger global economy. Automotive engineers have made tremendous advancements in the fuel efficiency area but that does not seem to be enough to keep the gas cost down. Most of the time the most obvious ways to save on gas can be done by the drivers.
We caught up with the team of Big Motoring World, a used car dealer, and they gave us tips on how to save on gas costs, here are 5 easy tips they shared with us.
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1. Drive Economically and Steadily
If you are driving around the city, then you should drive smoothly and maintain a steady speed. For manual cars, using the gearbox sensibly is important but for automatic cars, try to ease back slightly on the accelerator once the car has reached the speed. Also, try to avoid engine idling for longer periods. But if you are driving on the freeway, you should use cruise control if your car comes equipped with it.
Using your car’s air conditioner and heater can use a lot of gas, so try to avoid using them if possible. To reduce air residence, keep the windows up. Instead, use the ventilation system when travelling at a speed above 50 km/h. Many cars come with transmissions that have economic modes which can save gas.
2. Choose Tires Wisely
Reducing aero drag and switching off air conditioning will definitely help reduce the gas cost. Also, choosing a smaller wheel and tire size will deliver better mileage. For example, Tesla claims that at 110 km/h their 19-inch tires will deliver 508 kms whereas the optional 21-inch tires will do 487 kms.
When choosing tires look for the following characteristics: low-rolling resistance, rubber with higher PSI for heavier loads. Many modern cars these days are fitted with clever computers that can change the fuel-to-air mixture to attempt to compensate if something is in balance.
Choosing the right tires and driving smoothly should save a huge chunk of money. But there’s more. It is also advisable that you should check the tires every week, when they are cold. It is good to keep the tire inflated to a pressure slightly higher than what is stated in the handbook. It should lead to better fuel economy and safer maneuvering.
3. Fill up When It’s Cheap
This is most obvious tip ever: fill up when gas price is cheap. But how do you know if the price isn’t going to go up? Use apps. Many gas retailers these days have their own apps. For example, GasBuddy, Gas Guru, Waze, Dash and MapQuest Gas Prices. Most of these apps are community-based meaning users will verify if the listed price is correct. Since the gas price is very unpredictable and fluctuates day by day, it is recommended to you fill up all the way.
4. Use Gift Cards, Rewards Cards and Store Dockets
You should look for discounted gift cards. There are sites that sell gift cards that are heavily discounted. Two of the great sites are Gift Card Granny and Plastic Jungle. You should be able to use these gift cards at many service stations including Mobil, Shell and Gulf.
Also, if you drive a lot, then you should consider getting a credit card that rewards you buying gas. A good site to check out is Nerd Wallet where they will recommend what credit card would suit your need. Moreover, grocery chains like Kroger, Safeway and Winn-Dixie offer gasoline rewards programs that you should sign up with.
5. Look After the Car
Make sure your car is looked after. Clean or even replace the air filter, and simple fixes like this will provide a positive change. Regularly servicing the car another important factor. Keeping the car in its perfect shape and health is important. Check your wheel alignment because they can produce more resistance than normal if the wheels are not properly aligned.
Regularly check if the tires are balanced, have sufficient tread, and are filled to their appropriate level and it will also save you a pretty penny in gas cost. Look at the service book and see when was the last time you had your car tuned up. A properly maintained engine can improve mileage by up to 4%.
You are driving past a gas station and you see the gas price has fallen and you feel a sense of relief. But the bad news is you don’t know how long it will last. If you have a big family and drive an SUV, you must be spending a lot of money gasoline every year.
For singles alike gas cost is not something trivial. Knowing the right tips can save everyone who drives a car a lot money. Moreover, increased fuel efficiency helps reduce carbon emissions and helps improve the air quality.