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Saving Money at the Gas Pump

 

With they way gas prices are soaring these days; everyone wants to save money at the gas pump. Regardless of the your car’s make and model, the estimated gas mileage is just that — an estimate. The way you fuel, drive, and maintain your car affects the gas mileage you are going to get. Here are a few tips that can help you drive down the cost of driving:

The Right Gas Can Save You Money

Making the right choice at the gas pump is an important first step to keeping your car running efficiently — and economically.

Follow your owner’s manual recommendation for the right octane level for your car. For most cars, the recommended gas is regular octane. Using a higher octane gas than the manufacturer recommends will not give you any benefit, and will cost you at the pump. Unless your engine is knocking, buying higher octane gas is a waste of money.

Think twice about using gas saving gadgets. Be skeptical about any gizmo that promises to increase your gas mileage. The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has tested over 100 supposed gas-saving devices — including “mixture enhancers” and fuel line magnets — and found that very few provided any fuel economy benefits. Those devices that did work provided only a slight improvement in gas mileage. In fact, some products may even damage your car’s engine or cause a substantial increase in exhaust emissions.

The Way You Drive Can Save You Money

When it comes to saving money at the gas pump, how you drive can be almost as important as how far you drive.

Stay within the posted speed limits. Gas mileage decreases rapidly at speeds above 60 miles per hour.

Avoid unnecessary idling. It wastes fuel, costs you money, and pollutes the air. Turn your car engine off if you anticipate a wait.

Avoid jackrabbit starts and stops. You can improve in-town gas mileage by up to five percent by driving starting and stopping “gently” instead of taking off like you’re in a race.

Use overdrive gears and cruise control when appropriate. They improve fuel economy when especially when you’re driving on the highway.

The Right Tires Can Save You Money

By buying the right size tires for your vehicle, and keeping them properly inflated and aligned, you can increase your gas mileage up to three percent.

A Car in Good Repair Can Save You Money

Proper maintenance can keep your engine purring at its fuel-efficient best.

Keep your engine tuned. Tuning your engine according to your owner’s manual can increase gas mileage by an average of four percent.

Change your oil. Clean oil reduces wear caused by friction between moving parts and removes harmful substances from the engine. Improve your gas mileage by using the grade of motor oil recommended in your owner’s manual and changing it according to the schedule recommended by your car manufacturer. Motor oil that says “Energy Conserving” on the performance symbol of the American Petroleum Institute contains friction-reducing additives that can help improve fuel economy.

Check and replace air filters regularly. Replacing clogged filters can increase gas mileage up to a whopping 10 percent!

Less Junk in The Trunk Can Save You Money

Carrying around an extra 100 pounds in the trunk can reduce you car’s fuel economy by up to two percent. Removing non-essential junk from your trunk can save you at the pump.

Your Driving Habits Can Save You Money

The only sure-fire way to get more from a gallon of gas is having a fuel-conscious driver behind the wheel.

Combine errands. Making several short trips taken from a cold start can use twice as much fuel as one trip covering the same distance when the engine is warm.

Consider carpooling. Many cities make it even easier by matching up commuters.

Use Public Transportation, Ride a bike, or walk. Why not leave your car at home altogether and consider public transportation, a bike ride, or a stroll across town?

Utilizing any (or all) of the above suggestions will save you money at the pump, and allow you save money for a down payment on a great new home.

 
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