Filling up the tank on our cars is still a necessary evil that we all must endure. Until the electric revolution comes and we can all afford machines that don’t run on petrol, we’re stuck suckling at the noxious teat of Big Oil. To do this means living in a daily battle between the pump prices and how far you can stretch your full tank. Though it might seem as if you’re doomed to forever pay the same extortion prices, a smart saver can get a lot more gas on the cheap. All you need to do is learn these 17 tactics for saving money on gas.
Keep Your Car In Top Shape
It cannot be stressed enough how good car care leads to better gas mileage. Tune it up, changing out the spark plugs. Replace the air filter with a clean one. Change the oil for smoother engine operation and more efficient burning. Maintain a top-notch A/C unit to avoid dragging on the miles during hot weather. Use the right oil weight for the weather. All of this can jack up your miles per by high percentages. All told, you could be getting a third or even more gas if you do a complete overhaul. The older your car and the less service it’s had, the more it needs love to run at peak performance.
Leverage The Power of The Gas App
Apps such as GasBuddy can tell you where gas is cheapest in your area. Apps of this kind work at home as well as abroad, and will help you think more about where you buy your fuel. This is important, as noticing a pattern in your buying habits can lead to improving upon them.
Buy Discounted Gas Cards
Many websites sell gas cards, and you can even get bargains on gift cards through grocery store loyalty programs. Once you’ve begun tracking your buying habits, and established a good “home base” station where you do your regular fueling, you can then get gas cards at a discount. $100 worth of gas for $95 or even $90 is a steal.
Use The Internet
Finding those discounted gas cards can be tricky, since they’re hot items that go fast. Watching websites such as Gift Card Granny and Car Cash can help. Sign up for their newsletters or set alerts and let the internet do the work for you. Just like a web writer would.
Get a Loyalty Card
If you find that returning to a Philips 66 or a CostCo gas station suits you best, look at cash back credit cards offered by the company. Those that come with gas rewards can end up paying for large portions of your fueling during ordinary buying. Spend the same, save a little extra. But don’t get more than one that fits you. And pay it off monthly.
Remove Junk from Trunk
You ain’t trying to build a brick house with your automobile, because it’s expensive to drive around a brick house. Every 250 lbs. – approximately – you add into your car can reduce your mileage by one per gallon. That isn’t much, but it adds up fast. Have only the necessities on hand, and if you’re riding close to E, toss a kid out. The biggest one. Or spouse. Sassy best friend.
Buy a Commuter Scooter/Bike
Saving on gas when you’re going to and from your office in a dually isn’t going to happen. A gas hog isn’t going to change its ways because you knock the carbon off the pistons. Buying a bicycle, a motorcycle, e-bike, or any number of inexpensive modes of transportation can slash your gas expense. Shop smart, and even buying a new fuel-efficient car can save you money in the long run.
Consider Trading In Your Car
Are you using all that SUV space, or is it going to waste? Making your car bigger and heavier with seats and features will also cost you. You’ll pay more up front. You’ll pay more for repairs. You’ll pay more to simply go around the block. If you have a wagon but only need a subcompact, might be time to downgrade smart.
Your car wastes gas when it sits running. Since you’re better off driving it when it’s cold than letting it run in park, it’s wise to never throw away gas on an immobile vehicle.
Mark The Calendar
Gas prices are always higher on Friday, Saturday, and Sunday. They are generally lowest in the early morning – before 10am – on Wednesday and Thursday. Studies have revealed that gas station owners often change mid-day on Thursday to weekend prices, and have the fewest customers in the middle of the week, as workers are in survival mode, fetching gas only if needed.
Go Out of Your Way
Convenient gas stations often charge $0.15 more per gallon than stations further afield. Don’t hit the spot on the highway as you’re going into work. Don’t even stop at the place by your house. Find a place on the edge of nowhere and return once a week to gas up. Then treat yourself with the money you saved.
Monitor Your Tires
Automotive upkeep in general is good, but tires should be checked almost as regularly as you fill up your tank. Estimates say that nearly a quarter of the cars on the road have insufficiently inflated tires, and that costs your fuel efficiency by money-eating percentages. Temperature changes affect this, as does driving, so get a quick hand-gauge to check pressure when you gas up, and keep the air inside.
Align The Tires
Without proper alignment, tires wear out quicker, are more likely to burst, and need more gas to run. Take your vehicle to a tire alignment shop and get it straight as an arrow. Then watch the savings mount up.
Check Your Gas Cap
Projections suggest as many as 15% of the cars on the road have a loose, missing, or improper gas cap. If yours doesn’t seal tightly, spend the $4 bucks for one that does. The loss of gas through fumes is a very real waste, and ineffective sealant of your fuel system is as dangerous as it is wasteful.
Watch Your Speed
Going slower burns less gas, teaches you to be mindful, and keeps you from getting a ticket. Slow down and smell the rose-scented air freshener.
Drive Like a Pro
Taking a driving class or learning how to smoothly operate your vehicle is going to make you faster on the road, smarter in tough traffic, and you’ll spend less on gas. There’s loads of driving tips, and plenty of classes available to help you become a better motorist.
Braking stops forward movement of your car, which is why you were using gas in the first place. Every time you step on those brakes, you’re wasting the gas that your car is burning. Work with your gears and gradual deceleration.