Want to pay less for gas?
Here are nineteen ways to do it
With gas prices going through the roof, here's some down
to earth advice on how to get the most out of a gallon of gas.
"You can save 30 cents a gallon or more, just by following these
simple tips," says Rick Doble, editor of SAVVY-DISCOUNTS.com
Newsletter in Smyrna, North Carolina, a money-saving
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- Gas on a busy highway can cost 10c more per gallon
than the same brand and same grade at a quiet corner just a
few blocks away.
Compare prices on the routes you normally
drive, but don't go out of your way. This is known as zone pricing of gasoline.
Read more about this in depth in our newsletter at:
Gasoline Zone Pricing, gas zoning prices by oil companies. Price comparison shop for discount gasoline.
- When traveling out of town, check prices.
It may be
much cheaper in your town or at your destination.
Editor Rick Doble's father used to fill up his tank at the cheapest spot along his travel route which was a city in between.
Check for prices at various metropolitan areas around the country at:
- Use a gas rebate card.
Many major oil companies offer
a 1%-3% discount if you use their Visa or MasterCard.
Look for a simple rebate system will buy you gas with the rebate. Avoid point and rewards type systems which are often no more than marketing devices.
- Don't use a higher octane than you need.
drivers unnecessarily buy a premium grade. Look at the car
manual or call the manufacturer's Customer Service Department
to determine the correct grade.
Most cars can run on regular gasoline.
If you are using an octane higher than regular in your car, go down one grade and notice how well your car runs. If it runs without knocking, you can probably use the lower grade.
- If your car doesn't seem to run right, try a
different brand of gas (same octane) before switching to a
higher, more expensive grade.
The additives in another brand
of gas might work better with your car.
Editor Rick Doble found a dramatic difference in the way his car ran simply by switching brands, for example.
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- After filling up, turn the gas pump nozzle around 180
degrees to drain the last half cup of gasoline into your tank.
This simple tip won't save you a fortune but will give you a bit more free gasoline in your tank and prevent gas from spilling out into the environment.
- Don't fill your tank right up to the top.
As much as
one half gallon can leak out when the gas sloshes around
During the warm weather gas will also expand and may leak out. This is one of the most important tips in this list.
- Don't get zero miles per gallon warming your car.
Numerous experts recommend idling your car for only about a
minute and then driving it slowly for a few minutes. This will
greatly improve gas mileage and also lubricate the engine
Older cars may require a longer warm up, but don't warm up any longer than necessary.
- Check tire pressure once a month.
saves gas and and could save you 50% on the cost of tires as
In addition to rapid wear and low gasoline mileage, very low tire pressure can be quite dangerous. It can cause internal tire damage and could cause a catastrophic failure which might result in injury or death.
According to the Michelin Tire web site: "The National Highway Transportation Safety Administration estimates that nearly half of all passenger cars on the road have at least one tire under-inflated by 20 percent. That means, if the vehicle placard indicates the correct pressure is 32 psi (pounds per square inch of pressure) a 20 percent reduction would drop the pressure to about 26 psi. 'That seemingly small difference can mean the margin between control and out of control for the average driver,' said Mac Demere, test driver at the proving grounds, 'especially on wet road conditions.'"
This is an extremely important tip for another reason as well.
"Estimates suggest that low tire pressure wastes more than two million (2,000,000) gallons of gasoline in the United States every day." according to the EnvironmentalDefense.org
- Check your tires for uneven wear.
saves gas and tires.
If your tires are out of alignment, take your car to an alignment shop immediately. You will save on tires and gasoline.
- Replace the air filter regularly.
A dirty filter
will make the engine run too "rich."
- Tune your car at least as often as specified by the
Tune sooner in cold weather or if you drive in
heavy traffic. A tune-up will more than pay for itself in gas
At SAVVY-DISCOUNTS.com we find that a tune-up at the beginning of the cold weather season is a good time to get your car running at its best in the harsh conditions of winter.
- Use an "energy conserving" oil, an EC or EC-II motor
- Remove any unnecessary weight from the vehicle.
(When did you really take a good look at the stuff in your
Removing weight will definitely help your gas mileage.
- If you're not using the rack on top of your car,
take it off. Wind drag reduces mileage.
You may find a dramatic improvement in gasoline mileage with a ski rack or canoe rack removed.
- Use the air conditioner only when necessary,
especially in traffic.
At highway speeds, however, the AC may
be more efficient.
- Driving 55 MPH will save 10%-15% vs. driving 65 MPH.
A rough rule of thumb is that gasoline mpg will decrease by about 2 percent for one mile increase in speed over 55 miles per hour. Over 65 mph the decrease is even greater
For most cars the most efficient driving speed with the best mpg is about 40-45 miles per hour. Remember this when you are almost out of gas and looking for a gas station late at night.
- Drive smoothly.
Fast starts, sudden stops and weaving
in and out of traffic lowers mileage.
You can save as much as 50 percent by driving smoothly verses rapid stop and go traffic. For example, if you can drive an average but fairly steady 20 miles per hour on a side street, you will get much better gas mileage than on a highway with stop and go traffic that moves at 40 miles per hour and then grinds to a halt. Smooth driving will also help keep your brakes from wearing out as fast.
- If you family has two cars, drive the car that's
still warm for a quick errand.
A cold engine gets terrible
mileage -- about one third of a warm one.
This is another important gasoline mileage tip. You will not only save a ton on gasoline but the wear and tear on the cold engine will be dramatically reduced so that your two cars will last much longer.