Oh gasoline, how we love to hate you, and hate to depend on you. With all the environmental issues, questionable practices of big oil companies, and the outrageous expense, it can be painful to watch the price climb higher and higher at the gas pump. Yet, at the same time, if you depend on your car to get around, you can’t really avoid forking over the big bucks at the gas station. There are ways to reduce your fuel consumption, however! Read on for tips on saving gasoline.
Knock it Off With the Lead Foot
In response to the 1973 oil crisis, the U.S. Congress barred federal funding for any transportation projects where the speed limit would be over 55 MPH. Why? Well, if you go any faster than that, you use more gas. If you’re traveling at speeds over 35-45 miles per hour, you save 5-10% of your fuel economy by reducing your speed by 5 MPH.
Check Your Tires
A fully-inflated tire is a happy tire. One test showed that an under-inflated tire lost 1.3 miles per gallon in fuel economy.
Park in the Shade
Nobody likes a hot car on a sunny day — including the car itself! Hot and sunny weather can make emissions evaporate so find a garage, shady spot, or keep a windshield shade handy.
Make Sure That Gas Cap is Tight
Gasoline can escape from your tank if the cap isn’t screwed on as tightly as possible. Double check the cap after you fill up.
Check Your Tire’s Alignment
Improperly aligned tires can drag down your fuel economy by putting unneeded work on your engine.
Quit Your Idling
Waiting for someone in your car? Turn it off in the meantime. Idling can use up more gas than you might think. A good rule of thumb is to turn off the engine when you’re not going to be driving for more than 30 seconds.
See Also: How To Pick the Healthiest Juice
Avoid Slamming on the Brakes
Quick braking and, for that matter, quick acceleration, uses up far more fuel economy than smooth driving. Resist the urge to slam on the brakes — unless you have to, of course!
Don’t Use Your Car as a Storage Space
The lighter the load, the better the fuel economy — every 100 pounds removed roughly equals 1-2% fuel efficiency.
Ditch the Car!
Yep, you probably saw this one coming. If you can, try to replace your driving time with walking, biking, or taking public transportation as much as possible. It’s better for you, the environment, and your wallet!