What about those who have to drive, even though gas prices are at an all time high? Even though you need to pay the high prices, doing what you can to conserve makes sense. Here are five simple things you can do to save some money at the gas pumps.
Gas prices in the US are at an all time high. In fact, for the first time ever, miles driven in the US have actually gone down, and in many states, they are showing a decline in gasoline usage. Therefore, there actually may be a silver lining in the sharp rise in pricing.
However, what about those who have to drive? Even though you need to pay the high prices, doing what you can to conserve makes sense. Here are five simple things you can do to improve your mileage and save some money at the gas pump.
The first thing is to let your engine warm up. This may sound like you’re wasting gas because you’re sitting there idling your car while your engine is warming up, but studies show that a warm engine is more efficient, and a more efficient engine will use less gas. In the same way that your body performs better when you are sufficiently warmed up, gasoline fuel burns cleaner in a warmed up car.
Tip number 2 is to turn your engine off. Any time you are in stopped traffic, turn off your car. This does not mean to turn off your car in short stops, but if you are going to be stuck not moving for a few minutes, it may be worth it to shut the engine off.
You actually save gas by turning your car off and then turning it back on. While we are on that note, it is important to also note that while driving, make sure that you accelerate smoothly and avoid heavy braking. Stop and go quickly is not only hard on your car, it wastes gas as energy is wasted.
Do not drive so fast. Studies show that it takes 25% more gas to drive at 70 mph than to drive at normal or average highway speed. Again, what that means is that by driving 75 mph you lose another 5 miles per gallon. The faster you want to drive, the more you have to press your gas pedal and the more you use gas. There is an optimum speed-to-gas-usage ratio, and it happens to coincide closely with posted speed limits.
Tip number four is to check your tires. Tires that are over- or under-inflated will offset the performance of your vehicle. Make sure that you check what your manufacturer recommends for tire pressure. Also make sure that your tires are in alignment. If they are out of alignment, then the resistance caused by the tires wastes gas. A simple thing like this can make all the difference in the world.
Use your cruise control. One of the benefits of cruise control is that it maintains your speed at optimum level. If you are going on a long trip, or you are going a long distance on level roads, your cruise control can make all the difference in the world. What the cruise control does is help keep you from wasting gas by eliminating your accidental hitting of the gas pedal.
Minimize your wind resistance. This may sound odd, but sometimes it does make sense to use your air conditioner. If you have to use your conditioner, keep your windows rolled up while driving at highway speeds, and you may actually improve your mileage because you are minimizing the drag on your car.
Imagine driving down the road with all of your windows open. All of the resistance created by the wind flowing into your car really eats up your gas mileage. You save by keeping your windows rolled up and making your car more streamlined. If you are going to be doing fast highway driving, it makes sense to turn on the air conditioner. The extra gas used to run the A/C will actually be less than the fuel needed to fight the wind resistance caused by windows being rolled down.