Gasoline is one of the biggest costs associated with running a car and it can certainly add up over time. It’s not out of the question to be paying upward of $60 per tank of gas for a 15-gallon tank, so even filling up once every couple of months is going to cost a hefty chunk of change. However, there are some good ways to reduce your gasoline consumption, including driving less – which can also reduce your car insurance costs. Read on to find out more.
Driving smoothly isn’t just nice for your passengers but it also reduces the amount of fuel you use. Cars use the most gas when you’re accelerating, which means that continuously stamping on your brakes and then revving the engine to get back up to speed causes you to use fuel unnecessarily. Instead, try and maintain a constant speed where you can (engage cruise control on the highway, for instance) and you should see the difference at the pump.
Turn down air con
Air conditioning systems use power and, as you probably know, the higher you have it up, the more power it uses. This means you use more fuel than is often necessary, so unless you absolutely have to have it on, consider opening the window a bit instead.
Carrying excess weight in your car also causes you to use more gas because it requires more power to get the vehicle moving. If you have a trunk full of odds and ends you don’t really need to keep in there, take them out and leave the space empty.
Another good trick is to make sure your tires are always properly inflated; check your car’s handbook to see how far they need to be filled. Driving with tires that aren’t fully inflated can cost you up to 5% in fuel efficiency and also make you more likely to cause accidents in bad weather as the traction won’t be working properly, so your car insurance company is likely to appreciate inflated tires just as much as your wallet.
Change air filters
An air filter that is clogged with dust and dirt can reduce your fuel efficiency by 10-15%. This can easily add a few extra dollars onto your bill every time you visit the gas station, so change your filters after every 25,000 miles – and get your car serviced regularly to keep on top of it.
Choose a good route
The way you drive can also have an impact on fuel use, so calculate your routes carefully. Is your famous ‘shortcut’ home really a shortcut? Some routes might be shorter in terms of distance, but if you’re constantly stopping in traffic, you could well end up using more fuel than if you took a longer but quieter route.
It has been reported that 85% of Americans use their cars to get to work, and many of them drive alone. Carpooling is a good way to reduce not just the amount of gas you use but the number of cars on the road – and it means you can sit back and relax sometimes while a colleague does the driving.
Finally, if you’re really serious about reducing your fuel consumption, consider walking or cycling instead of driving everywhere. Particularly in busy areas, it doesn’t actually add that much to your journey time – and it’s definitely cheaper.
This is a guest post