A recent report in the Financial Times predicted that the average price for a gallon of gasoline in the United States may soon reach $3.00 . . . that’s the bad news! The good news is, skyrocketing gasoline prices have caused many Americans to start looking for ways to either cut back on the miles they drive or find ways to make their cars more fuel efficient.
gas, saving money, gas prices, alternative ways to save money at the gas pump, auto, automotive gasoline
A recent report in the Financial Times predicted that the average price for a gallon of gasoline in the United States may soon reach $3.00 . . . that’s the bad news! The good news is, skyrocketing gasoline prices have caused many Americans to start looking for ways to either cut back on the miles they drive or find ways to make their cars more fuel efficient. That’s good news because these fuel-saving attempts and attitudes will help reduce the fuel emissions that regularly foul our atmosphere. The question remains, just what do we need to do to spend less on gas and reap the reward of cleaner air; a few tips follow:
Get your car in shape
A well maintained car will burn less gas than one that has been neglected:
1. Keep your tires properly inflated; check your car’s user’s manual or look for the sticker that gives you the recommended tire inflation pressure. If your tires need replacement, look for tires that are rated as LRR (Low Rolling Resistance). Proper tire inflation along with the LRR tires will be your biggest fuel savers.
2. Change your motor oil at the manufacturer’s recommended intervals and be sure to use the recommended ‘weight’ (viscosity) motor oil. While changing your oil, change the oil filter and check the engine air filter — the air filter may not need to be changed every time you change your oil but it should be checked every time.
3. When you buy gas, pay attention to the octane rating marked on the gas pump — it should fall within the octane range recommended by your car’s manufacturer.
4. Buy your car a ‘tune up’ at the manufacturer’s recommended interval — on modern cars a tune up is mainly replacing the spark plugs, checking the engine timing and checking the spark plug wires.
How, where and when you drive are equally important factors in your attempt to save gas money and keep the air clean:
1. Do you really need to drive? Every trip to the store does not require car keys; walking a couple blocks will not only save your gas money it will help keep you in good health. More than just a couple blocks? Dust off your bicycle (or buy one) for those trips that are not more than two or three miles. Also consider public transportation and car pooling to and from work as gas-saving alternatives to your ignition key. If telecommuting is an option for your job, take it!
2. If you do need to drive, plan your route! Sometimes the shortest route has the most traffic congestion so you are wise to take the longer, less-traveled route to save gas by not being stuck in slow traffic. If possible, arrange your work schedule to allow you to drive to and from work in less congested traffic.
3. Slow and steady wins the race.?When pulling away from a stop light or stop sign, go easy on the gas pedal and gradually increase speed — jackrabbit starts are really bad for fuel efficiency . . . sudden stops don’t help either, if you find yourself jamming on the breaks, you are driving too aggressively — slow down and ‘mellow out’!. When you’re finally on the highway, keep your speed at the posted speed limit and, if you have a cruise control use it.
Some other fuel saving tips
1. Don’t spoil your car’s aerodynamics by placing luggage or other things on top of your car.
2. Keep your car windows closed; in the summer air conditioning won’t effect your gas mileage as much as open windows.
3. Travel as light as you can — more weight in your car equals poorer gas mileage.
4. If you rent a car you’ll be buying your own gas so rent the most fuel-efficient car available.
5. If you are ready to trade your car in for a new one, give serious consideration to a hybrid vehicle or at least a vehicle with the best gas mileage rating you can find.
Rising gas prices will probably be with us for quite a long time so take some of these tips to heart to save money and save our environment.