Saving gas has been a big issue with most people who drive on a regular basis. We are a busy society. With the gas prices rising so frequently, how in the world can we possibly save money? Well, here are 24 tips on how you can save gas and money. Most of it is just common sense.
Brake the Right Way
1. An automobile consumes the most gas as it accelerates. A moving car doesn't require much gasoline to stay in motion. In real life, this means you need to keep the ride smooth. Keep your distance from cars so you don't have to brake every 5 seconds and then accelerate again.
2. If you drive a hybrid car, the above statement applies even more. Avoid fast braking. Hybrid cars can convert braking power into electric energy and store it in their batteries. However, this will only give you so much braking power. If you decelerate faster, your brakes will engage and energy will ultimately be lost.
The next time you come to a traffic light, start braking a lot sooner. This will improve the efficiency of your hybrid car significantly
Turn Off the AC
3. In some areas, this tip might be somewhat impractical (Florida in the middle of summer). However, the compressor for the air conditioner loads the motor of the car more, which will reduce fuel economy. Don't use the air conditioner when you don't have to.
4. A manual transmission is great. Overall a manual transmission can be a lot more fuel efficient opposed to automatic transmission. If you have a manual transmission and want to save some gas, you need to shift up early and shift down late.
Most people think they are supposed to shift at a certain RPM. This isn't entirely accurate. You need to feel the car and the load condition to figure out when you need to shift. A car that is going uphill needs to pull a lot more and should be driven at a higher RPM. On the other hand, if you are going flat or down hill, you can drive at a low RPM. Then, if you want to accelerate, you quickly shift down, get up to speed, and shift up again. Remember, "feel" the car to decide when to shift.
5. If you have cruise control and there's not much traffic, use it. It will keep the speed constant, and you won't need to use the accelerator.
6. Use the overdrive gears. This will keep your RPM down and save you money.
7. When you are standing still, shift into neutral. This reduces transmission strain and cools off the transmission as well.
8. Reduce the mass of your car by emptying out the trunk and removing heavy items you don't need (keep your spare tire and car lift).
9. Take off the luggage racks when you don't need them. This will decrease wind resistance and save you gas.
Turn Your Car Off
10. You use a bit of gas when turning your car on. When the car isn't moving, it uses a fixed amount of gas over a period of time, especially when the AC is running.
Depending on the car, the energy balance will be positive if you turn off your car for more then 20 seconds. You can save gas if you turn off you car while waiting at a traffic light or a railroad crossing. Any time you can foresee that you will not be moving for more then 30 seconds, you should turn off the engine.
11. It's a proven fact that driving fast will increase turbulence and thus increase your fuel consumption.
Close Your Windows
12. Opening your windows will increase turbulence and eventually cost you fuel. Use the ventilation system of your car. Opening the windows at low speeds and using the air conditioner at high speeds gives you much better fuel economy.
Pick a Better Route
13. Avoid heavy traffic and lots of traffic lights. The shortest route is not the most fuel efficient if you have to keep stopping and accelerating.
Cheap Car Maintenance
14. Spend the time to search for a reliable car repair shop. Most shops charge way too much for simple jobs, but there are those few that actually take care of your car and save you money at the same time.
15. Inflate your tires to the specified level. This will reduce the contact area of your tire to the road, reducing friction. This will help with gas mileage.
16. If you don't need snow tires or chains, take them off. Don't drive around all summer with snow tires. They are softer and have a deeper profile which will increase friction.
Use the Correct Grade of Motor Oil
17. If you use the wrong grade, you may increase the friction in your engine. It gets hotter and uses more gas.
18. Replace your air filter when you need to.
Turn Off the Lights
19. Many rental car companies have daylights enabled on their cars which are rather efficient. However, all electrical equipment is powered from the alternator which increases its load on the engine to produce more power. So when you can do it safely, turn off the headlights.
20. Using carpool lanes reduces the amount of time in traffic and cuts the gas bill between 2 or more people.
21. If you live outside of town, try to go into town only once and get everything done.
Fuel Efficient Cars
22. If you are looking to buy a new car, consider fuel efficiencies. You can easily calculate how much money you would save a year and weigh that against the cost of the car and maintenance.
23. Diesel engines can give you much better gas mileage than Hybrids on long distance drives.
24. Don't fill up unless you are on empty. Gas weighs a lot.
The only way to actually save gas and money is to act. Learn these tips and keep them in mind whenever you drive. You and your car will be safer and happier. If you have any questions or need more advice, contact the guys at RPM Automotive at any of their locations.