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Easy Ways to Save Money on Gas
With gas prices constantly changing, many Americans are looking for ways to save money at the pump. There are many ways that you can cut back on fuel consumption and reduce your spending in the process. Whether it's by treating your vehicle well or by reducing your speed, these tips will help you cut down your gas mileage:
Get Your Tires Aligned
When your tires are poorly aligned, they can contribute to your tires wearing out prematurely and cause your engine to work harder. Getting your tires aligned properly will not only increase your gas mileage, but will also keep you safer on the road. You can get your tires aligned at places such as Mavis Discount Tire and save even more money by using one of their coupons. Properly aligned tires can boost your gas mileage by as much as three percent and will improve vehicle performance as well.
Drive (Reasonably) Slow
Stomping on the gas pedal and brakes will not only wear your tires down quicker, but it will also increase your car's fuel consumption. Studies have shown that vehicles which gradually slow to a stop or slowly accelerate can cut fuel consumption as much as 35 percent. As long as you aren't driving unreasonably slowly, it would be wise for you to slow down and drive carefully to save money on gas.
Turn Off the Engine if You're Stuck
If you are stuck in traffic or waiting for a bridge, you should consider turning off the engine. Leaving the engine idling for more than just ten seconds will waste gas and create unnecessary pollution. Many people are under the impression that starting the engine will waste more gas than letting the car idle for a minute, but this is simply not true. As long as you are paying attention, turning off the engine in traffic could help you to avoid wasting gas.
Make Sure Your Tires Are Properly Inflated
Tires that are over inflated or under inflated can lower your gas mileage and affect the overall performance of the vehicle. According to the Department of Energy, every 1-psi drop in tire pressure can lower your gas mileage by 0.4 percent. Winter weather tends to reduce tire pressure, and it is important that you prepare for winter by having them properly inflated. Check your tire pressure in the morning or when your car has been sitting for at least a few hours, because tires need to be checked while they are cold.
Lighten Your Load
Skiing trips and outdoor adventures in the winter means that many will have their gear strapped to the top of their cars while they travel. However, it is important that you unload any unnecessary items from your vehicle when you return. Traveling around with weighty items will significantly reduce your gas mileage. It is best if you store your skis inside your car if you can, because the wind resistance can also reduce your gas mileage.
Change Your Oil
Checking your oil regularly and performing routine oil changes can save you money at the pump. Look at your car's manual to determine the grade of oil that it requires to run efficiently and how often it recommends that you have your oil changed. If the oil says “energy conserving” on it, chances are good that it contains additives that help lessen your fuel consumption.
In addition to oil changes, your vehicle will benefit by simply keeping it in good condition with regular maintenance checks. Standard maintenance procedures such as changing your dirty air filters, changing the spark plugs, and checking your tires can all dramatically affect your car's gas mileage. Spark plugs can be susceptible to fouling, and you should check the car's manual to see how often they should be replaced.
Cut Back on Driving
If you are within walking or biking distance of work or the grocery store, it can be beneficial to both your wallet and your health to forgo using your car as transportation. If the distance is too far, consider carpooling with friends or colleagues so that you can both save money on gas.
Saving Money on Gas Benefits Everyone
Not only can reducing your gas mileage save you money on gas, but it can also benefit the environment and even your own health. Many of the tips used to save money on gas are also helpful ways to stay on top of proper car maintenance and boost the lifespan of your vehicle.