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Gas - Saving Money Tips

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  • Gas - Saving Money Tips

    1. Shop around for a lower price, but don't go miles out of your way to get the best price. When traveling a long distance to save a few pennies, you end up spending more on car driving expenses (AAA estimates that it costs 56.1 cents a mile to drive a car in 2005 while the IRS allows a deduction of 40.5 cents a mile) than you end up saving with the lower gas price.

    2. To find the least expensive gas in your local area, don't drive around looking. Hit the Internet. Sites like gasbuddy.com will let you find the lowest gas price without leaving your driveway.

    3. It's best to purchase gas from a station that is busy. Gas that sits in tanks for long periods can get contaminated and lower its effectiveness. Fresh gas is less likely to be contaminated ensuring you get the most power for your dollar.

    4. Avoid purchasing gas from a station that has just had a truck fill the station's underground tanks. Filling up the station tanks will stir up particles from the bottom of the tank which can clog your fuel filter and make your car run less efficiently.

    5. Purchase your gasoline in the early morning or at night when it is cold outside. Gas becomes denser in cooler temperatures. Since gas pumps only measure the volume of fuel - not the density - you'll get better overall gas mileage for your money by purchasing fuel when it's cool outside rather than in the heat of the day.

    6. Take the time to check your car's tire pressure each month (purchase a good-quality dial-type gauge for yourself -- pencil-style gauges and the ones mounted on the air hose are unreliable according to federal surveys). Under inflated tires reduce fuel efficiency by 2% for every pound they are under inflated. Under inflation also causes premature tire wear giving your tires a shorter use life.

    7. Be sure to use your owner's manual for the correct tire pressure. The pressure printed on the sidewall of the tire indicates how much the tire will safely hold and should not be used since it has no connection to how much air should be in the tire for routine use.

    8. Check your tire pressure when it is cool outside. A good time is in the morning after the car has rested overnight. Driving only a few miles to a gas station will build heat in the tire and can increase the pressure enough to give a false reading.

    9. Drive at the speed limit. Cars use about 20% more fuel driving at 70 miles per hour than they do at 55 miles per hour.

    10. Avoid driving fast in low gears. Driving at high speeds in the improper gear can reduce fuel efficiency by up to 40%.

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    11. Avoid using air conditioning whenever possible. Air conditioning reduces fuel economy by 10% to 20%.

    12. Don't open windows when traveling at high speeds. Open windows on the highway can reduce fuel efficiency by 10%. It is much better to use the ventilation system.

    13. Remove car racks and other items which make your car less aerodynamic when they're not being used. Leaving them on only makes your car less fuel efficient.

    14. Use cruise control to maintain a steady pace on the highway to increase fuel economy.

    15. Avoid rough roads. Driving on roads made of dirt or gravel can reduce fuel economy by up to 30%.

    16 Don't let your car idle. Even on cold mornings, there's no need to let your car idle for more than 30 seconds. Newer cars are designed to be driven almost immediately and letting your car idle longer is a waste of gas.

    17. It's more efficient to turn off your car and turn it on again than to let it idle for more than 45 seconds while waiting.

    18. Remove all excess weight from your car. Many people use their car trunk as a storage space adding unneeded pounds to the car's weight. This unnecessary weight reduces the car's fuel efficiency.

    19. Try to accelerate gently, brake gradually and avoid stops when driving. Gunning engines, quickly accelerating, and abrupt stops all waste fuel.

    20. Try to avoid driving during rush hour periods when you know traffic will be stop and go. If you do find yourself in stop and go traffic, try to maintain a crawl.

    21. When approaching hills or steep slopes, accelerate before the hill. Accelerating once on the slope will consume much more gas.

    22. Service your car regularly while paying special attention to oil and filters. Blocked air flow from clogged air filters will increase fuel waste.

    23. Check your car's alignment since this can cause engine drag which will also increase gas waste.

    24. Periodically calculate your car's fuel efficiency. A loss in fuel efficiency is an indication of possible mechanical problems.

    25. For most cars, higher octane gas is a waste of money. Regular unleaded(approx. 87 octane or so) is the least expensive and what you should purchase. It's important to remember that octane is a measurement of how hard it is to ignite the gas, not the quality of the gas. Purchase mid or high octane gas only if your engine pings, knocks or rattles when using regular unleaded fuel.

    26. Don't purchase gasohol if possible. Some areas require gasahol (a mixture of gas and ethanol for your car. Ethonal is alcohol made from grain) because using it for fuel is considered a way to help farmers as well as help cut pollution. The problem is that ethanol contains only about two-thirds the energy of gasoline which means gasahol forces you to use more to go the same distance.

    27. For short trips close to home, try walking or riding your bicycle. Not only will you save money on gas, you'll also get some healthy exercise.

    28. When you go shopping or run errands, take a little time to plan and combine them all into one outing instead of several. In addition to saving gas, you will also save yourself time.

    29. Car pooling or using mass transportation systems when possible is an excellent way to reduce your gas consumption. There is an added benefit that utilizing these methods to commute will likely result in a discount in your car insurance.

    30. Refrain from "topping off" at the gas station. Gas pumps don't contain enough pressure to deliver gas well in short bursts meaning that you get short changed when you top your tank off.

    31. After you have finished filling up, turn the gas pump nozzle around 180 degrees. This will drain about a half cup of gasoline into your tank which you would otherwise spill or give to the next customer.

    32. Rotate your tires and periodically check them for uneven wear. Proper alignment saves both gas and tires.

    33. Keep the outside of your car clean and waxed. Doing so will reduce drag and save gas mileage.

    34. Keep your foot off the brake. Some people have a habit of resting their left foot lightly on the brake while driving. Not only will this will cause drag that will require you to use more gas than needed, you'll also wear out your brakes sooner.

    35. The next time you are in the market for tires, consider purchasing radial tires instead of standard. They can cut your fuel bill (if kept properly inflated) by 2 - 3%.

  • #2
    Re: Reduce Gas Consumption - Money Saving Tips

    The cheapest gas station in my area costs more! They are typically .03 censt cheaper per gallon, but it costs more to fill up. When I am almost empty, it cost over $40 to fill. Using another station that costs more has never cost me more than $38. I think the station has something funny going on in their pumps. The total miles per gallon doesn't change, just the amount to fill changes.

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    • #3
      Re: Gas - Saving Money Tips

      If that is the case, then I would find out who to report them to and do it. To make sure, before I made a report, I think I, personally, would take a 5 gallon gas can up there and fill it up. If you don't get 5 gallons of gas in the can when the pump says 5 gallons, they could be in some serious trouble!
      There is a federal department for this, but right now the name doesn't come to me.
      Everything costs us enough, we don't need to be ripped off!
      Carol

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      • #4
        Re: Gas - Saving Money Tips

        got a question... if you aren't supposed to use the air conditioner OR roll the windows down what do you do in the summer when it is 100 outside? You have to do something so which is more cost effective? windows or ac

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        • #5
          Re: Gas - Saving Money Tips

          Originally posted by ctack2
          If that is the case, then I would find out who to report them to and do it. To make sure, before I made a report, I think I, personally, would take a 5 gallon gas can up there and fill it up. If you don't get 5 gallons of gas in the can when the pump says 5 gallons, they could be in some serious trouble!
          There is a federal department for this, but right now the name doesn't come to me.
          Everything costs us enough, we don't need to be ripped off!
          Carol
          You would report it to your states division of weight and scales. If you don't have the number, your highway patrol office can give it to you. The state does calibrations on the pumps quarterly in most states, monthly in others--that is they personally come out with a container and pump to verify it is correct. The fine is quite heafty if it is not correct.

          Comment


          • #6
            Re: Gas - Saving Money Tips

            Originally posted by barbd00
            got a question... if you aren't supposed to use the air conditioner OR roll the windows down what do you do in the summer when it is 100 outside? You have to do something so which is more cost effective? windows or ac
            I think the key is when you have a choice between AC and vents, vents will save you money or Open windows and vents, vents will save you money. 100 degrees out and the AC would definitely be on in my car

            As for your questions, I would guess the following (I haven't seen a study on this, but I will see if I can find one later) - it depends where you are driving. If you are in your neighborhood and not driving fast, windows open is better. If you're on the highway and not going up hills or mountains, then AC is better.

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            • #7
              Re: Gas - Saving Money Tips

              Living in a city, we have the opportunity to live with one car. While public transportation is very accessible, we hardly use it. Having one vehicle for 2 people forces you to bike, walk, take a bus, or plan carefully. We don't have any children yet, so that isnt a factor right now, but we are happy with our decision. I think it may be a case of "you don't know what you are capable of until you are forced into it", but now I can't imagine paying repairs, insurance, payments, and gas for two vehicles.

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              • #8
                Re: Gas - Saving Money Tips

                I saw something on this recently...they said that opening your windows on the interstate actually uses more gas than a/c does. So if its too hot to use the vents only, use the a/c.

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                • #9
                  Re: Gas - Saving Money Tips

                  I read that it is better to use the a/c. Also, you can save fuel by driving under 55. I never go over the speed limit, so I save gas and have never had a ticket.

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                  • #10
                    Re: Gas - Saving Money Tips

                    take a calculator and divide price by how many gallons it says on the pump and it should equal what your paying.

                    i also carry discount cards for all the stations i can. i did searches by brand/store names filled it all online, got card in the mail, cause i live in missouri, family in mich and canada, so we travel alot. i have 3 cents off at walmart just using thier prepaid cards, 2 cents off at speedway and so many points free coffees or sodas, 2 cents off at flying j and specials too, and our camper card gets 1 cent off at luvs. we take our own cups with us to get refill prices and its good for the environment too.

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                    • #11
                      Re: Gas - Saving Money Tips

                      shawni-- we had just one car, and we both had bikes when we first moved. So we both rode our bikes to work (maybe 4 miles away from our apartment) in August September and October. Then it got colder, and we had saved up money to get a second car. It was nice not worrying about car insurance or gas for those few months though!

                      Ima-- You do get more efficient gas mileage driving around 55! When we first got our Ford Focus in the fall, we were told not to go over 55/60 for the first 1000 miles. But we wanted to drive it back up to Rochester for Thanksgiving to show it off. We drove no more than 55 mph, and the 14 gallon tank got a little over 450 miles -- it was about 33mpg!! We broke 1000 miles on the way to Rochester and drove the speed limit on the way back (65 mph on most of the roads) and we maybe only got around 30 mpg. Still good, but a noticeable difference!

                      I drive with my windows open if it's warm and I'm doing city driving, if i don't want to use A/C. With highway driving it's too loud to drive with the windows open - I use vents for as long as I can before using A/C.

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                      • #12
                        Re: Gas - Saving Money Tips

                        I found a link on Edmunds.com that talks about many of the gas-saving ideas. They did independent tests to see which ideas really work.

                        http://www.edmunds.com/ownership/dri...cle.html#test2

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                        • #13
                          Re: Gas - Saving Money Tips

                          Regarding saving money on gas...

                          1. windows vs. A/C: There is no quantifiable difference.

                          2. Find the cheapest gas: My mechanic tells me that whenever a car comes in and the driver says "my car is making this odd noise when I drive and it's only a few years old." then first thing he does is empty the gas tank and fill it will a couple of gallons of Shell gas. (Shell is the same quality across the country - not a region). He says the cars usually stop making that noise. While you might think all gas is the same, it's not. If you buy gas from a Meijer or other department store, think again. He said he's had to replace a lot of gas tanks because of the gunk carried in some cheaper gas stations's gas.

                          3. Don't opt for cheap gas that is more harmful to your car. Also know what's best for your car. For example, Saturn's were made to run well on the low octane detergent free gases. So in my case, that car gets 87 octane 99% of the time.

                          4. Might seem silly but don't drive 20 minutes to save ten cents per gallon.

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                          • #14
                            Re: Gas - Saving Money Tips

                            I'm sooo glad you bumped this to the top! I'm going to send my family the link!

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                            • #15
                              Re: Gas - Saving Money Tips

                              My friends are loving this. My SO is going to ask me just where Id like him to store the snow tires, so I might as well make room now-- but fuel efficiency is a good thing.

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