By Bob McGartland
10 Ways to Reduce Your Fuel Costs NOW
Gas prices keep going up, and it’s a helpless feeling watching the pump add up the dollars going out of your bank account and into your tank. But there are many ways you can save money on gas and reduce your overall fuel consumption. Here are ways to reduce your fuel costs in your vehicle.
Purchase Fuel Wisely - Save up to 20%
- Use the right grade of gasoline. Most cars run fine on regular. Check your vehicle owner's manual to find out what's right for your car. Regular grade fuel cost about 20-cents per gallon less than premium grade.
- If you need to fill up, fill up all the way to save time and money, but don’t top off because it wastes money. It forces liquid fuel into the evaporative emissions system, overwhelms circuits and can be burned.
- Wait until you have a quarter tank but don't push this any further. Doing this can extend your gas because you are hauling a lighter fuel load. It also gives you the opportunity to buy more gas if you run across a bargain. However, in cold weather, you run an increased risk of condensation in the fuel tank. Running a car with less than a quarter tank can shorten the life of the electric fuel pump and running on empty will often destroy the pump.
Alter Travel Practices - Save up to 30%
- Use Carpooling / Public Transit / Non-Motorized Options: Ride the bus, carpool, bicycle or walk instead of driving alone.
Drive More Efficiently - Save up to 20%
- Don't Drive Aggressively / Drive at the Speed Limit: Avoid aggressive driving and aggressive starts. All vehicles lose fuel economy at speeds above 55 mph. Driving 65 instead of 75 mph reduces fuel cost 13%. Driving 55 would save 25%.
- Reduce Air Conditioner Use / Close Windows: Using the air conditioner increases fuel cost from 13% up to 21%. If it's cool enough, use the flow-through ventilation instead of rolling down the windows or using the AC.
- Eliminate Extra Wind Resistance and Weight: Using a loaded roof rack increases fuel consumption. Carry the load inside your vehicle if you can. Removing unnecessary weight is better still.
- Minimize Vehicle Idling: Today's vehicles are designed to warm up fast. Avoid idling when you can; idling is 0 miles per gallon.
Improve the Efficiency of the Vehicle you drive - save up to 50%
- Maintain Vehicle Efficiency: Regular maintenance as prescribed by the vehicle owner's manual will help your vehicle achieve its best fuel economy. Some overlooked maintenance items, such as a dirty air filter and under-inflated tires, can increase your fuel cost up to 13%. When replacing your tires, you may consider new tires with reduce rolling resistance design specifically to increases the vehicle’s fuel mileage.
- Drive or Purchase a Fuel-Efficient Vehicle: Drive your most fuel-efficient vehicle whenever possible. When purchasing, consider the most fuel efficient vehicle and you could save up to 50% over older less fuel efficient vehicles.