Save Big Bucks with Cool Fuel Saving Tips, Tricks and Hacks!

There are 3 main areas to look for fuel savings: The car, obviously! Choose the right car, make some inexpensive changes and keep up the maintenance and right away your billfold will benefit! Next there’s the where, when and how of buying gas — that’s going to make a big difference too. Finally — and this might surprise you — there’s how you drive!

Let’s take a look at these three opportunities for savings in a little more detail.

 

  1. The Car

More significant changes

  • Select an electric or hybrid vehicle for best fuel economy
  • Choose a light colored car if the weather where you come from is warm. This will help stay cooler, using less AC.
  • Choose a dark colored car if you are in a cold environment to stay warmer. That way you’ll have to heat the car less.

 

Less significant changes

  • Clean & Wax vehicle regularly. This makes the car more aerodynamic.
  • For a step further apply painted sealant.
  • Lighten the load. Take what you aren’t using out of the trunk.
  • Remove unused roof racks and cargo carriers (they cause aerodynamic drag).
  • Carry out regular maintenance, including checking the Oxygen Censor, Air and Fuel Filters and synthetic oil
  • Tune up (newer spark plugs can last up to 100K)
  • Replace broken, cracked or missing gas cap poor sealing of the gas tank can reduce fuel efficiency by 1-2% because it allows gas to evaporate! Also, tighten gas cap securely until it clicks.
  • Match your tires to seasonal conditions: Snow, rain, fog.
  • Check tire pressures regularly — under-inflated tires increase fuel consumption. Inflate to the max listed on the sidewall.
  • Check wheel alignment
  • Use fuel additives
  • If your family owns more than one car, choose the one that uses the least amount of fuel and still meets the needs of your trip.
  • Buy a car capable of tracking mileage in Real Time as well as between fillings. Remaining vigilant whenever you’re driving keeps you focused on maximizing fuel efficiency.

 

  1. How, when and where to buy Gas.
  • By paying with the Discover Open Road Card, you get 5% cash back on gas & maintenance with no annual fee, plus you get the float!
  • Buy first thing in the morning. The gas storage tank is below ground and the colder the ground, the more dense the gas. As the ground warms, the gas on the storage then expands and is less dense.
  • Don’t buy right after the Tractor Trailer delivered fuel. The influx of new Gas stirs up old sediments that has settled in the holding tank.
  • Use GasBuddy.com & others to find lowest price wherever you are!
  • Pump slowly to avoid overfilling. Stop at the first shutoff.
  • Buy the lowest octane gas that still meets the vehicle requirement specifications in your owner’s manual.
  • Buy gas midweek when it is generally cheaper. If you can help it, don’t buy on holidays or weekends when gas station tend to charge more.
  • Refuel at off-peak times when you won’t have to wait in line and idle
  • With price equal, buy gas from a national gas company.
  • You’ll get beneficial detergent + additives that may help your vehicle run more efficiently. You’ll also avoid low grade fuel sometimes found in independent stations that have slower turnover. Also major oil companies generally maintain their stations better and thus they tend to have less sediment in the holding tank as well as a better overall experience.
  1. The way you drive
  • Avoid jack rabbit starts and sudden stops. Glide to maintain momentum. Learn the stop light patterns to anticipate red lights. Also take note of obstacles.
  • Plan ahead to avoid driving during rush hour whenever possible. You don’t want to have to accelerate from a complete stop any more than you have too.
  • Also less braking, an added benefit!
  • Use Garmin or Google maps. If you don’t have navigation and get lost, immediately stop for directions.
  • Combine short trips logically so no back tracking.
  • Plan the route with fewer stoplights.
  • Carpool to school or work.
  • Walk or ride a bike or scooter if the trip is short.
  • Talk your boss into letting you work part time from home.
  • Use cruise control to maintain a steady speed over long distances. It really helps increase fuel economy.
  • Avoid drive throughs as they cause excess idling which wastes fuel.
  • Don’t speed. Moderate your speed, your fuel economy increases exponentially. For every 10 mph you decrease on the highway you increase fuel efficiency up to 10%!
  • Avoid traffic and congested areas. Avoid hills, and when these can’t be avoided, plan so you won’t have to accelerate strongly while going uphill.
  • Keep windows closed. Open windows hurt fuel economy.
  • Limit AC. It puts an extra load on the engine significantly decreasing fuel economy. Opening the vent and putting the fan on is a good alternative for light cooling. Be aware that most cars front defroster automatically puts the AC on.
  • If in pretty heavy traffic keep a good following distance so you don’t have to make emergency stops which can easily wear out the brakes and hurt momentum. Also look several cars ahead to at their brake light so you can know when to begin coasting.
  • If you drive a manual transmission car, shift to use the highest gear appropriate. Driving in lower gears than needed revs the engine higher hurting your fuel economy.
  • Avoid long idling times. If you anticipate stopping for a while, turn the car off. Idling for more than a minute uses more fuel than restarting the car.
  • When going down a steep grade, deactivate the cruise control and shift the car to neutral. This allows the car to glide, maintaining the natural momentum provided by gravity with zero fuel consumption!
  • Don’t excessively warm up your car when leaving and turn off your car quickly when you arrive at your destination. Again, excessive idling burns extra gas.
  • If you’re planning a long trip, try to drive when the sun is down. The engine will run cooler, there will be less traffic and you will probably use less AC.

 

Final Sneaky Bonus Tip!

Back into parking spots. You’ll be reversing when the engine and transmission are hot which is less hard on them because later you’ll only go thru a single acceleration cycle in leaving when the the engine/transmission are cold. It’s also safer because you’ll more clearly see the surrounding area as you pull out.

 

I hope you got some good info out of this list that will save you money for years to come. If you have any fuel saving tips, feel free to comment below.



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