With gas prices getting higher and our wallets getting tighter, everyone is looking for an edge on getting the most bang for the buck. There are some simple things you can do to up your MPG without having to spring for a new hybrid or electric car. Check out these tips for saving on gas!
1. Brake Correctly
Your car guzzles the most gas when it’s accelerating. While that may seem obvious when you stomp on the gas to get on the highway, it sneaks up on you when traffic gets heavier. Rather than tap dancing between your gas and brake pedals, keep an eye on the car in front of you to judge when to ease off the gas instead of braking. You can actually keep your car rolling forward and not having to brake so often. The result: 10-20% better MPG in heavy traffic.
2. Use Cruise Control
If traffic is light and your car has cruise control, use it. This will keep your speed constant, so you won’t lose gas accelerating to maintain speed.
3. Put It In Neutral While Stopped
Rather than let your car sit at a red light idling away, put the car in neutral. This takes some strain off your transmission and gives it a chance to cool down a bit.
4. Lose Some Weight
Put your car on a diet. If you’ve got a bunch of junk in the trunk (of your car), then take it out. Also, hold off on filling up your tank until you’re on empty because gas is heavy too.
5. Choose Your Route
If your route has a ton of red lights, all that stopping and going is eating away at your gas. Instead, choose a route with lighter traffic and fewer red lights. Besides, you never know what you’ll find taking the back roads.
6. Turn Off Your AC
While the weather has still been cool enough that we don’t quite need the AC yet, this is Texas and that won’t last long. Driving without AC isn’t an option in Texas, but try to reduce your use. Keeping it running reduces your gas efficiency. Try parking in the shade and running the AC just enough to cool down your car. Your car should stay cool for 5-10 minutes without the AC running.
7. Take Down The Luggage Rack
Unless you use it every week, take down the luggage or bike rack from your car. It reduces the aerodynamics of your car which in turn effects fuel efficiency. Take down anything else that causes wind resistance or drag on your car like sports team flags.
Join a carpool. The amount of gas each person is halved or even quartered for each person in the carpool. Besides, not only are you saving gas and money, you get to use the HOV lane!
9. Check Your Air Filter
At any one time, around 25% of cars need to change their air filter. Just changing that one little thing can improve your gas mileage by 10%.
10. Drive Slower
Slow your roll, Speedy Gonzalez. This isn’t NASCAR or the German autobahn. The faster you drive, the faster you burn through your gas. In fact, for every 5 mph slower you drive, you reduce fuel consumption by 7%. Plan to leave earlier for you commute to account for a couple of minutes extra of slower drive time.