Whether you just got your license, or you’ve been driving since the days of full-service stations, saving gas has always been near the top of a driver’s concern list. Whether you’re commuting to work, going on a road trip, or just heading out to see friends, there’s always a part of your mind that’s wondering what the cost in fuel is going to be.
If you’re looking for some ways to seriously stretch your gas, here are a few that should get you where you need to be for a whole lot less.
5 Tips For Saving Gas
Tip #1: Perform Regular Maintenance
Your car is a lot like your body, in that something going wrong in one area can lead to a greater strain everywhere else. Whenever your engine has to work harder, it’s going to use more gas while you’re out and about. Sometimes all it takes to stretch your gas a little further is to make sure you air-up your tires, regularly change your oil, and service your brakes on time.
Tip #2: Avoid As Many Stops As You Can
Have you even noticed that when you get a car’s fuel efficiency, you’re given two different numbers? One is for in-town driving (where you’ll have to stop for lights, red octagons, and the occasional train). The other is highway mileage, where you only slow down if you’re getting off the freeway to take an exit.
So, if you have two routes to get where you’re going, take the one that doesn’t require you to constantly stop for red lights. You get better gas mileage if you can get on the road, set your cruise control, and just drive.
Tip #3: Don’t Idle When You Can Avoid It
How many times have you let your car “warm-up” because it was cold out? Or sat in the parking lot with the engine running while a friend ran into the store? Or stared at a train going past for ten or even fifteen minutes while you burned gas?
None of those are necessary.
Any time you have the choice of idling, ask yourself how long you’re going to be sitting there burning fuel you paid good money for. If you’ll only be a few minutes, like at a stop light, you’ll be fine. If you’re going to be waiting any longer than that, turn the engine off.
Tip #4: Avoid Traffic Whenever You Can
Sometimes you have to drive at a certain time of the day. You’ve got an appointment to get to, or you work a certain shift, etc. If that isn’t the case, though, then you should strive to drive during off-peak hours. While you don’t have to hit the road at two in the morning, you should listen to the traffic report to gauge when the road is going to be open so you don’t have to constantly slow down to avoid other drivers.
Tip #5: Use Your Cruise Control
This was mentioned in passing earlier, but it bears repeating. Cruise control is one of those features most modern cars come with, and we’ve finally reached the point where even those who have older, used models will still have this as an option. If you’re going to drive on the highway, this is a fantastic way to save fuel. Your engine works best when it’s kept at a constant output, rather than always being raised or lowered to stay within a speed limit. So take your car up to the posted speed limit, and set the cruise control. If you’re on an interstate highway, and the road is clear, you could drive for an hour or more without once needing to tap that brake.