In today’s economically fragile society, frugality has become an art form. Below are some tips to help you squeeze every last dollar out of your vehicle. These suggestions will not only help you save a few dollars, but are good habits to put into practice as a responsible automobile owner and driver.
1. Maintain your vehicle properly.
• Keep your engine properly tuned. • Keep tires inflated to recommended levels and use the recommended grade of motor oil.
2. Don’t drive erratically.
• Hang up your phone, don’t tailgate and use cruise control. • Leave early, so as to avoid the urge to drive aggressively. • Erratic acceleration and braking costs you approximately .50 cents per gallon of gas and each mph over 60 mph costs approximately .10 cents per gallon of gas.
3. Lighten up.
• Streamline your vehicle by removing excess weight and objects such as bike or ski racks that hinder your car’s ability to be aerodynamic. • The more weight your car is carrying the harder it will be working so do yourself a favor and remove anything in your car or trunk that are heavy and unnecessary.
4. Don’t drive unnecessarily.
• Combine errands, shop online, carpool, telecommute, use public transportation, and park further away if needed rather than driving around for that better spot. • If you need to head out make sure that you are going out with a purpose. Go to the bank, grocery store, and the dry cleaners in the outing. Free shipping offers are easy to come by these days and can save you a trip to the store.
5. Cool down.
• Use A/C only when you are on the highway and roll down your windows while traveling at lower speeds. •Park in the shade so when you enter your vehicle the A/C will be less necessary.
6. Tighten the gas cap.
• Make sure that you hear it click at least three times to prevent fuel evaporating from your tank.
7. Shop around.
• Take the time to find the best price before you leave your house. • The best time to purchase fuel is midday on Tuesdays or Wednesday mornings. Typically prices are increased on Thursday before people fill up their gas tanks to take long trips on the weekend.
8. Fill the tank.
• If you top off your tank after the gas nozzle has automatically stopped (signaling the fuel tank is full) you will end up doing a disservice to your vehicle. This action will force liquid fuel into the evaporated emissions system where it overwhelms the circuits that are supposed to only route fuel tank vapors to the engine while it’s running and can be burned.
Below are links to some helpful resources that can assist you in putting the above tips into practice. Here is the link to a Yahoo! Article by Joann Muller on the best miles per gallon vehicles in all classes. http://autos.yahoo.com/articles/autos_content_landing_pages/1799/the-best-mpg-vehicles-in-every-class/
Provided is the AAA official website. Here you will find a search engine to locate the best gas prices locally. There is also a fuel mileage calculator to keep track of your vehicle’s current efficiency. http://www.sne.aaa.com/sne/home/index.php