Sunday, March 18, 2012

10 Ways to Save Gas (and Money)

The cost of gas continues to rise and from the looks of things, it's not slowing down anytime soon. To help get the most bang for your transportation buck, we've collected 10 tips to help you save gas and money. 

1. Brake correctly
Cars use the most gas when they accelerate. While this may seem obvious, in somewhat heavy traffic this can mean burning through a lot of gas. It's fairly easy to maintain a speed in a long line of cars without using your brakes-instead, pay attention to the cars in front you and anticipate when to slightly ease of the gas. This will keep you from losing momentum when you hit the brakes. In heavy traffic, this will result in 10-20% better gas mileage. 

2. Use cruise control
If your car is equipped with cruise control and there isn't much traffic, you'll save gas if you turn it on. It keeps your speed constant, which means you won't have to keep accelerating and use more gas. 


3. Shift to neutral when still
When idling at a stoplight or in a parking light, shift into neutral. This reduces transmission strain and gives the transmission some time to cool down. 

4. Drop extra weight
The heavier the car, the more gas it takes to move it. Remove heavy items that've been collecting dust in your trunk-it's a simple thing that will instantly save you money. Bonus tip: Don't fill up until you're on empty since gas is heavy too. 

5. Pick the best route
If your commute involves lots of stoplights, it might not be the most fuel-efficient route. Stopping a lot only increases the amount of gas you use. Look for low-traffic highways or back roads. 

6. Turn off the AC
As you probably know, running the air conditioner impacts your car's overall fuel efficiency. So if you can bear it, try not to turn it on. If you must, turn it off 5-10 minutes before reaching your destination. The car will stay cool enough for that short amount of time. Bonus tip: always park in the shade-that way, your car won't have to work as hard to get cool. 

7. Remove your ski rack
Unless you're using the ski, bicycle, or luggage rack on the roof every week, remove it. It increases the wind resistance on your car which results in more gas used. 

8. Carpool
The amount of gas used per person is halved each time you carpool to work with a co-worker. Not only are you saving gas and money, you get the added bonus of cruising in the carpool lane! 

9. Check your air filter
At any given time, almost 25% of cars need to replace their air filter. Doing so can improve gas mileage by 10%! 

10. Drive slower
It's true: you use less gas when you drive slower. In fact, for every five miles per hour you reduce highway speed, you reduce fuel consumption by 7%. 

Source: Yahoo News

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