With over 90% of Americans reporting that they bought gasoline for their cars, the average American is spending $3000 a year on gas. It’s time to practice cutting back to save money on the gasoline budget.
It’s a hot summer, and it seems like gas prices are on the rise, making it a little trickier to get around town these days. Rather than sweat at home, let’s make a plan to save on gas!
Cutting back on the daily drive is a great place to start, but you don’t have to give back all of your miles. You can modify the way you drive so that your car uses a little less gas. That cutback will add up in the savings department.
Not only this, but it’s better for the planet!
No matter what your motivation is for cutting back on fuel usage, some basic steps will help you succeed. For example, car washes, routine oil changes, and driving cautiously can all help save some cash at the pump.
By staying ahead of the game, gas savings are in store.
How to Cut Back on Gasoline
Cutting back on gasoline offers many benefits: less money spent, more efficient driving, and a healthier planet. Share these tips and tricks on how to cut back on fuel costs with your friends and family.
The Real Value of Routine Maintenance
Routine maintenance is something many people write off, but they shouldn’t if they care about saving money.
It’s a little tricky for some folks to understand how a fifty dollar oil change could save thousands in fuel costs and avoidable automobile repairs. That’s the beauty of the investment in routine maintenance. A little goes a long way!
When the car operates as designed, with regularly completed oil changes, the vehicle uses less gas.
Inflate Your Tires Properly
An important part of a vehicle safety plan is checking to see the tires are properly inflated before every single ride. It can help you save on gas, too!
If the tires aren’t inflated to the appropriate level, they’re not safe to drive on. They also won’t provide the promised MPG for which you likely purchased the vehicle you drive.
Keep those Quick Trips Well Planned
If you are somebody who likes to run out of the house for coffee and then go home and then head back out for groceries half an hour later… you need to reorganize your schedule to save gas.
A bad habit many of us have developed is last-minute thinking, and this is leading us to blow our gas budgets. When you map out your week, you can be sure to do all of your errands in one fell swoop. Sure, it might be a little more tiring, but you’ll save at the gas pump!
Slow Down, Speed Racer!
If you want to save money on gas, you need to be less of a speed demon out on the road. Most of the time, there’s actually little reason to push your car over 50 MPH. Yet, we have the need for speed – this need costs us in inefficient engine performance that costs more to fuel.
Become A Cautious Driver
Being cautious on the highway can infuriate some road warriors, but the safety is worth it alone. As many of our parents have told us, it’s better to arrive late than not at all. This advice can help us save money on gas costs, too.
Driving nicely doesn’t take a toll on the car like aggressive driving does. When you let people merge, keep your eye on the road, and generally treat driving like a relaxed activity, you use less gas, saving you money.
Cut Back on the Cargo
Driving with a heavy load makes the car go slower as the engine does more work, burning through fuel more quickly.
If you are guilty of putting bags of clothes in the trunk and driving around with them for months and months, you should realize that this habit is costing you.
Get a Car Wash
Getting a car wash makes your car more aerodynamic which translates into increased fuel efficiency. It may not seem like a lot, but if it helps cut back on gas, it may be worth it.
Dirty cars with buildup don’t drive as well. Even worse, you could have a block in intake portions of the car (leaves, debris, animals, etc.) that is making the car perform poorly.
Go For a Smog Test or Emissions Test
If your vehicle’s check engine light is on, you’re not going to pass a smog test or emissions test. It’s usually an automatic fail. However, the check engine light alone is enough to warrant a call to the mechanic so you can save at the pump.
The EVAP system related to emissions and fuel efficiency gives drivers plenty of warning when it’s not working most of the time.
However, if for some reason it isn’t indicating a problem, but the smog testers or emissions testers can identify a problem, it’s bad news. Your vehicle is polluting the atmosphere while it burns through gasoline faster than it should.
Drive your Manual Car Correctly
If you drive a stick shift car, it can be tempting to ride around in low gears because you love the roar of the engine; however, it is actually driving in the highest possible gear that saves gasoline.
Both manual and automatic car owners are advised to keep the car from idling too much. If there’s no reason for the car to run, turn it off. A good rule of thumb is to avoid idling for more than one minute. It’s wasting gas and polluting our atmosphere.
Try Driving in the Carpool Lane
Some people have an aversion to carpooling, but doing so can save a lot of gasoline! The trick is that you have to split the cost. Remember that a heavier load uses more gasoline, but if you’re splitting each tank of gas two to five ways, it makes the price at the pump affordable.
What Type of Gas Should I Put in my Car?
Speaking of paying at the pump, check out your owner’s manual or ask a mechanic which type of gasoline you should be using. If you’re paying for mid or premium, and you don’t need it, you’re overspending on fuel.
If your car requires these upgraded fuels, then perhaps it’s time to research sending that car to the junkyard and getting something that’s a little more economical.
Summer Tips for Cutting Back on Fuel Costs
If you want to save money on gasoline costs this summer, keep these tips in mind.
- Beware of bumps in the road, especially speed bumps. If you find yourself slamming on the brakes because of speed bumps and potholes, you need to be more careful. Not only are you beating up your car, you’re wasting fuel at the same time.
- Try rolling down the passenger side window instead of cranking up the air conditioning. When driving in traffic that’s stop and go, you should avoid the AC as it does increase fuel consumption. Don’t sweat it on the highway. It’s not as bad.
- Have you considered walking? It sounds like a silly retort, but if you want to cut back on gasoline costs, you could consider walking to the local corner store or coffee shop now and then. Not only do you save on gas, but you’ll also get your steps in!
- Get digital! There are fuel cost estimators on the Internet that can be referenced to determine how much you’re spending in fuel.
Did you know that automatic cars use more fuel? It’s estimated that they burn up 10% to 15% more than manuals. It turns out that convenience comes at a cost!
An Experiment to Reduce Fuel Costs
One way to ensure you are reducing fuel costs is to do a little at-home science project.
Calculate your average weekly gas consumption under normal standards (the control). Don’t make any changes whatsoever. Just see how long the gas fill-up lasts. It’s better to measure this in miles than in time unless you drive the exact same amount of miles week to week.
Record your results.
Then, fill up the tank again and make modifications. Try adding in the tips and tricks displayed earlier in the article to see how many more miles you can get out of a tank of gas by washing your car, getting the car’s oil changed, and by driving in a friendly and relaxed manner.
Analyze if the change of habits is worth it. You’ll most likely find they are!
Are Gas Prices Going Up?
Many drivers are worried that gas prices will spike, leading them to ask, “How can I save money on fuel costs?”
Many people forget that big trucks and SUVs cost more to fill up than smaller economy vehicles. They weigh more. They use more fuel. It’s just the price of driving luxury vehicles the days. If you don’t really need a large vehicle, you may reconsider the purchase.
For example, the annual increase of gas cost for a pickup truck owner could be double than that of the owner of a small sedan.
In general, gas prices are showing an upward trend. At times they dip due to low demand or soar because of a gas shortage. When the prices rise sharply, we’re hit hard. A few years ago, gas prices climbed 1.7% in a single month.
It’s all controlled by OPEC member countries, meaning that gas prices are sometimes political. It can pose a challenge to the everyday Joe who just wants to fill up the gas tank for a reasonable price.
The technicalities of it all can be quite tricky, but the bottom line remains this: if we want to cut back on fuel costs, we have to take action ourselves.
In 2017, for instance, a Ram Pickup with the MPG of 17 saw an annual price increase of over four hundred dollars by the time 2018 marked the calendar. It’s simply funds many of us don’t have right now.
If the trends are any indication of what’s to come in the future, car buyers should consider purchasing cars that make saving money on gas easier. It’s not hard with so many high MPG, hybrid, and fuel-efficient vehicles on the market.
Easy Ways to Save Gas
The easiest way to save gas is not to drive. Alternatively, the tips and tricks listed in this post will help you get ahead on the increasing costs of fuel in this day and age.
Even better, you can learn to navigate the fuel market. Gas stations do have some competition, so you can look around for fairer prices.
Sometimes it makes more sense to fuel up when you find yourself in the suburbs (if you live in the big city). You can also become a loyalty member or get a credit card just for gas.
Remember that promotions pay off in discounted prices, airline miles, or store credit at the gas station.
Then again, if the shock of high gas prices is really making you second guess this whole car ownership thing, you could turn to public transportation and sell your car to the junkyard.
Sometimes that doesn’t sound like a bad option!