Even if your vehicle is otherwise gas thrifty, with the price of gas seeming to climb nearly every single day, it pays to find little ways to save. Here are some tips that help me stretch my gas dollar to its limit (and get more mile per gallon)!
Tip #1: Move Over into the Slow Lane
Even if you don't remember the 70s and the Nixon administration, there was a point to the 55 mile per hour speed limit. At that rate, many cars operate at an optimal level and get the best mileage per gallon. Test it out by filling your tank, then keeping track of how many miles per gallon you get per week running your car its usual way. Next try filling your tank, then allowing yourself to drive at speeds no greater than 55 mph for a week. There may only be a tad of difference if you don't have a long commute over the highway, but there will be a difference if you consistently drive no more than 55 to 60 mph.
Tip #2: Maintain Your Car
Oil changes, tune ups and new air filters can improve overall mileage more than they generally cost in the long run and that will permit your car to run more efficiently, saving gas and dollars! Tip #3: Keep Tires Fully Inflated
Am I nuts? Of course not! Improperly inflated tires and tires that are unevenly inflated from back to front or side to side can cost you gas, especially if you have any kind of daily commute. You won't save gallons, at least not in the short run, but over many days and many miles, this will pay off in better mileage. It's safer, too.
Tip #4: Be Slow but Don't Be Idle
Slow down before you get to an intersection, a stop sign or light. Jamming on brakes will make you stop quickly, but you can allow the forward momentum of your car to decrease on its own by taking your foot off the pedal. Taking the foot off the pedal means no gas is being used, which saves gas. And, of course, unless you really have to sit in a parking lot for a half hour with the engine running, why waste all that gas? And if you really have to let the car idle, then open your windows on a hot day and don't use the air conditioner!
Tip #5: Lighten Your Load and Shorten Your Drive
If you consistently carry excess weight in your trunk or on your seats (I don't mean Aunt Freida), such as potting soil or concrete blocks, stop it. Take the "stuff" out and put it away. If you make many short trips all over the map, then it is time to start planning your errands around a route that takes you from A to B without backtracking or repeating your drive.
"My Story" is a regular feature of The Dollar Stretcher. If you have a story that could help save time or money, please send it by mailto:MyStory@stretcher.com
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