Skyrocketing gas prices are one of the biggest stresses on people’s finances each year. And while the price rise may be out of our control, one thing you can control is the way you drive. How you drive directly impacts the number of miles you can squeeze out of a full tank of gas, so it’s important to be strategic about your driving habits. Here’s how you can start saving money at the pump each year.
What Is Fuel Efficiency?
Having good fuel efficiency helps you get the most out of your fuel. When you search for a new car, the miles per gallon (MPG) is often one of the first features shoppers look for. This rating tells you how far you can drive on one gallon of gas. Cars, trucks, SUVs, and jeeps will vary across the board with how good their fuel efficiency is.
But it’s important to know that you may not be getting the number of miles you should be out of your tank, which is why forming better daily driving habits and getting timely proactive maintenance are key to maximizing the MPG our vehicles have.
7 Ways You Can Save Money by Maximizing Fuel Efficiency
You can save hundreds of dollars at the gas pump each year by following these simple steps. That’s a lot of money that you can put toward other bills, investments, groceries, entertainment, vacations, donations; you name it! Here are some tips to help you save big this year.
1. Switch to Cruise Control
Aggressive driving is one of the biggest ways to waste fuel behind the wheel. That’s because acceleration causes a vehicle to burn through fuel faster. Minor changes in our speed cause us to have to speed up and slow down to maintain the speed limit, which is rough on your fuel economy (and tiring on your feet!) You can drive much farther on the same tank of gas just by tapping on the cruise control.
2. Ease off the Brakes
If you can avoid hitting the brakes, try coasting to a stop. Any time you use the brakes, you’re stopping the forward momentum of your car. Limit the use of your brakes by giving plenty of space between you and the vehicle in front. That way, you can slow your car down by coasting instead of braking.
3. Clear Out Your Vehicle
Carry a lot of stuff in your vehicle? It might be time to clear it all out. Heavy items tend to eat up fuel faster, causing a major dent in your fuel mileage numbers. You can save gas by getting rid of the unnecessary items from your cargo space. SUVs and pickup trucks come with tons of extra space for storing big items, but it’s best to leave everything at home if you want a more efficient vehicle.
4. Roll the Windows Down
Blistering hot summer days are enough to make us lunge for the A/C, cranking it up so we can cool down quickly. But before you reach for the controls, think about rolling down the windows instead. Running the A/C at full blast will use up to 25% more fuel. That’s some pretty good savings you can pocket just by opting for a natural breeze!
5. Check Tire Pressure
Under or overinflated tires? That will take another 5-7% bite out of your fuel economy. Tires need to be maintained at the recommended air pressure found in your vehicle’s manual. Try to make a habit of checking your tires each time you gas up. You never know when your tires have driven over nails or other objects that can cause slow leaks.
6. Limit Idling
It can be tempting to leave your car idling during traffic jams to listen to music or feel the cool breeze blasting from the A/C. But this is actually the perfect time to save some gas by shutting the engine off. A car idling for more than 10 minutes can start to impact your fuel economy. If your car won’t be moving for longer than 10 minutes, go ahead and cut the engine. Your car will thank you!
7. Keep Your Car in Good Shape
One of the best ways you can extend your gas mile is by taking your car in for routine checkups. When you aren’t running at optimal performance, it directly affects your fuel consumption. For instance, a check engine light can cause you to lag at around 20-40% of the fuel efficiency you should be getting. Here are some of the biggest offenders to poor gas mileage:
- Failing brakes
- Dirty filters
- Faulty spark plugs
- Low oil levels
A little proactive maintenance goes a long way. And if you aren’t keeping these areas maintained with the proper auto repair, you aren’t getting as good of fuel economy as you should be.
Save Money at the Pump
Spending more time at the gas station than you think you should? You can save big money each year just by switching up your driving habits and getting the timely proactive maintenance your car needs. It may not seem like much, but every little bit adds up day after day, month after month, and that ends up costing you big bucks throughout the year. Money that you could invest toward so many better things.
If it’s been a while since you’ve had your car tuned up, now is the perfect time to drop by. Reach out and set up an appointment to start improving your fuel efficiency today.