4 Surprisingly Effective Tricks You Can Use To Save Money On Gas
(RightWing.org) – Like most Americans, you’re probably tired of the gas price roller coaster. Global instability, supply chain issues, and energy crises are just some of the many reasons we’re given for the gas shortage — in addition to the higher-than-ever corporate profits enjoyed by oil companies. In March of 2022, gas hit $4.173 per gallon average in the United States, beating out the prior July 2008 record of $4.114.
While gas prices may be temporarily down again, it’s time to think about what we can do to stretch every mile we have to drive. The most obvious option is upgrading a vehicle, but that requires a complex set of circumstances such as being in a good, qualifying place to get something newer and more energy efficient. Additionally, car prices are still up due to a recent computer chip shortage, and combined with rising interest rates, this really isn’t the best option for many consumers.
Instead, most of us have to live with the cars we’re currently driving, and that means making smaller adjustments to save. Here are some tips to help you out, especially if you’re enduring a long commute to work.
Take It Easy on the Gas
Are you an aggressive driver? If so, you should know that calm drivers can save on fuel: from 33 to 38 percent, per Edmunds.
If you’re speeding up only to slam on the brakes to tailgate someone, or speeding up to weave through traffic and get around everyone, you’re not only performing dangerous driving habits, but expensive ones. Braking, acceleration, and high-speed driving all contribute to increases in fuel use — meaning you’re using more gas than you need to if you’re driving aggressively, and that’ll cost you.
Maintain Correct Tire Pressure
Every make and model of car has its unique, recommended tire pressure. If your tires are underinflated, you’ll get about .2 percent PSI less, and it will also lower the lifespan of your tires (not cheap to replace). Tires deflate over time, so keep monitoring them and check monthly. Most newer models will have a computer system that tells you when your pressure is low, and it’ll happen most often in winter.
Do Not Idle Unnecessarily
You’ll notice that many newer models have an auto shut-off feature when a car idles too long, even at a traffic light. The average traffic light stop can take up to 120 seconds if the light is red: that’s a lot of gas.
While older cars weren’t built to start and stop as often, it is important for all car owners to remember that when they’re sitting in their car in parking lots. Unless it’s a cold and safety issue, why is the car on? Keeping that car on will burn gas when you’re not driving anywhere, so cut the engine.
Get Rid of Unnecessary Items In Your Car
Most of us have some essentials in our car, like bags of salt and sand, a suitcase that never gets unpacked, or an extra pet crate. While it can help to add weight to the car for snow and ice traction, you don’t always need to be carrying around that extra stuff: it just increases the amount of gas you use. Get rid of anything that isn’t necessary.
In addition to these four often overlooked tips, you an take advantage of programs that reward you for gas purchases, plan your trips more efficiently, and carpool. Don’t forget to get tune-ups and keep your car well-maintained, especially when it comes to oil changes, to keep your car running smoothly. This will help you spend less on gas.
Copyright 2023, RightWing.org