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Having your own car is both a luxury and a pain in the butt.
You can get to many places without the hassle of finding a cab or steering through the crowds to get to public transport.
However, it could cost you on maintenance and gas consumption.
Well, you don’t really need to wrack your brains and decide whether or not you’re going to get that car you’ve been dreaming of or just make do with public transportation. Why not get the best of both worlds?
Gas Saving Tips
Your driving habits affect your gas consumption. Driving is not just putting the car in gear and stepping on the gas pedal. Here are some tips to help you become a better and more efficient driver:
- Go easy on the pedals – Sudden starts and stops waste fuel and causes stress on vehicle components. If you drive an automatic transmission car, use the cruise control feature for better fuel economy.
- Don’t rev it up – Follow the speed limit. Driving fast is fun, but it increases drag and consumes more fuel. Also, driving too fast may also mean accelerating too quickly and having sudden stops.
- Plan your route – Use navigation apps to avoid traffic jams and find shorter routes. Anticipate your stops, too, and avoid accelerating when you know that you are approaching an intersection or traffic light.
- Fewer warm-ups, less fuel consumption – You only need to warm-up your car for about 30 seconds. One clue is when the temperature gauge goes up a notch. Better yet, only warm-up your car during cold weather. It is better to warm-up your car by slowly driving it.
- Drive during cooler times of the day – Warm weather exhausts your engine and adds to fuel consumption. Cooler and denser air helps ease the stress out of your engine. Consequently, you avoid overheating your engine, too.
- Use air conditioning – Today’s car models are more efficient when you use the air conditioner as it helps cool the engine as well. More so, driving at higher speeds lessens the amount of fuel when the air conditioner is on as opposed to having the windows open.
- Check your tires regularly – Improperly inflated tires cause more friction and higher gas consumption. Check the tire alignment as well. Poor alignment easily wears out your tires and causes stress on the engines, therefore making it consume more gas.
- Don’t use your car as storage – Heavy loads make your engine run harder and consume more fuel. Take off that bike rack at the top of your car.
- Check your gas cap – When filling up at the gas station, make sure that the gas caps are tightly secured. Check for broken caps as well. The gas fumes escaping from your car are not only hazardous but a waste of gas as well.
Proper Maintenance Leads to Effective Gas Saving
Considering that you are an efficient driver, owning a car means properly maintaining it, too. Don’t be complacent in just saving gas as you drive. A properly maintained car is a more efficient car; saves you gas and trips to the mechanic. If your car is old, you could consider buying new inventory, accessories and high-quality parts for your vehicle using discount codes available on Frugaa.com.
So, how can you save on gas by maintaining your car? Here are some suggestions for you to keep in mind:
- Carpool with your neighbors or use public transit – You might be thinking, “Why else do I need a car?” On those days when your neighbors or close friends are going to the same area, why not hitch a ride? There are also days wherein traffic is unusually heavy, like Mondays and holidays. If you just need to run a quick errand, just use public transport.
- Plan your gas purchases – Gas is cooler early in the morning or later during the day. Cooler gas is denser. You get more gas in the pump when it’s cooler and denser. Therefore, you save on gas. It is also best to purchase gas early in the week. Gas prices normally go up mid-week. On the other hand, if you are going on a long trip, make sure your gas tank is filled up. Remote gas stations are pricier because the demand is lower.
- Drive less – Plan your errands. It helps you manage your time wisely and save on gas. You don’t have to be all over the place just because you forgot to pick up your laundry or go to the bank. Besides, it helps you avoid rush hour traffic.
- Use the proper motor oil and gasoline – Your car has its own needs. Use only the recommended products. If you use motor oil or fuel that is not intended for the car, it will cause your engine to work harder and eventually wear out.
Fuel Saving Myths
Now that we have learned about the facts on how to save up on gas, there are also misconceptions about it. Take note that there are newer car models that have been upgraded. What may have been true in the past is not applicable now.
Myth # 1: Idling does not waste gas
Idling consumes about 1/7 gallon of fuel for an hour. If you are going to wait at the parking lot or traffic light for more than 5 minutes, it is better to turn off your engine.
Myth # 2: Smaller cars save more on gas
Newer models have more advanced technologies that are more efficient on fuel. Diesel engines, hybrid drivetrains, direct fuel injection, turbocharging, advanced transmissions, low rolling resistance tires, and aerodynamic designs are very fuel efficient.
Myth # 3: Manual transmissions are more economical on fuel
Automatic transmissions have the cruise control feature which allows your car to adjust depending on your speed. Notice that you don’t have to step on the gas pedal, but the car does not decelerate.
Myth # 4: Using neutral saves on gas
According to an automobile expert, shifting to neutral when approaching a stop will cancel fuel cutoff. It is better to leave the car in gear and let the engine airflow normalize so that fuel cutoff will be enabled.
Myth # 5: Fuel additives make your fuel cost efficient
This is not recommended by the Federal Trade Commission. Therefore, fuel cleansers or additives do nothing to save on fuel.
These are just some of the tips on saving gas. Properly maintaining your car will not only save you on gas money but on repairs, too. Your car will not only be easy on the budget but its lifespan will also be extended.
If you have more tips that you’d like to share with us, we’d be happy to learn about them. Ask your friends who are also car enthusiasts; they may also have tips that they can share. Happy driving!
About the Author:
David Walker, founder of CarUnderstanding, is a passionate car enthusiast and traveler. He shares great automotive experiences and tips in his blog. If you like to know more about cars and tips, don’t hesitate to visit his blog.