The surest way you can improve a high fuel cost problem is to change your motoring habits and find cheap gas prices. Listed below under four categories are 37 effective methods to save money on gasoline.
2. Be sure the automatic choke is disengaged after engine warm up... chokes often get stuck, resulting in bad gas/air mixture.
3. Don't start and stop engine needlessly. Idling your engine for one minute consumes the gas amount equivalent to when you start the engine. However, avoid long idles. Turn off the engine if you anticipate a lengthy wait. Instead of idling at a drive-up window, park the car and go in. Exception: Leave the engine idling if you are next in line at an emissions testing station. Your car is more likely to pass the emissions test if the engine has been warmed up.
4. Avoid "revving" the engine, especially just before you switch the engine off; this wastes fuel needlessly and washes oil down from the inside cylinder walls, owing to loss of oil pressure.
5. Go easy on the brakes and gas pedal. Avoid "jackrabbit" starts
by accelerating gradually whenever possible. Also, anticipate
stops to avoid sudden braking.
7. Avoid filling gas tank to the top, especially if you are following Tip #6 above. Overfilling results in sloshing over and out of tank. Never fill gas tank past the first "click" of fuel nozzle, if nozzle is automatic.
8. Check your owner's manual and buy the lowest-grade of gasoline it recommends. Unless you hear your engine "knock" or "ping," your car should do just fine.
9. Pump your own gas at the self-serve pump.
10. Pay with cash if the gas station charges a higher price for credit card payment.
11. Gas stations are still competing with each other. In many places you'll find price
differences of a dime or more per gallon among different gas stations. Some of the best
prices can be found at membership warehouse outlets, such as Costco, who run gas stations
for their members.
13. Use overdrive. If your car is equipped with overdrive gearing (on 5-speed manual transmissions and 4-speed automatic transmissions), be sure to make use of the overdrive gear as soon as your speed is high enough. If you have a manual transmission, the lower the shift speed, the better the fuel economy. Your owner's manual will give you further information.
14. Traveling at fast rates in low gears can consume up to 45% more fuel than is needed.
15. Manual shift driven cars allow you to change to highest gear as soon as possible, thereby letting you save gas if you "nurse it along". However, if you cause the engine to "bog down", premature wearing of engine parts occurs.
16. Keep windows closed when traveling at highway speeds. Open windows cause air drag, reducing your mileage by 10%.
17. Drive steadily. Slowing down or speeding up wastes fuel. Also avoid tailgating - the driver in front of you is unpredictable. Not only is it unsafe, but if affects your economy, if he slows down unexpectedly. Use the cruise control during long highway driving to keep your speed steady.
18. Think ahead when approaching hills. If you accelerate, do it before you reach the
hill, not while you’re on it.
20. Combine errands into one trip. Consolidate trips to destinations that are near one another. Once you arrive, park and walk between destinations. Save errands for one afternoon and plan your trip so you don't retrace your route. You not only save gas this way, but reduce wear-and-tear on your car.
21. Do not rest your left foot on the brake pedal while driving. The slightest pressure puts "mechanical drag" on components, wearing them down prematurely. This "dragging" also demands additional fuel usage.
22. Avoid rough roads whenever possible, because dirt or gravel rob you of up to 30% of your gas mileage.
23. Use alternate roads when safer, shorter, straighter. Compare traveling distance differences - remember that corners, curves and lane jumping requires extra gas. The shortest distance between two points is always straight.
24. Stoplights are usually timed for your motoring advantage. By traveling steadily at the legal speed limit you boost your chances of having the "green light" all the way.
25. Automatic transmissions should be allowed to cool down when your car is idling at a standstill, e.g. railroad crossings, long traffic lights, etc. Place gear into neutral position. This reduces transmission strain and allows transmission to cool.
26. Park car so that you can later begin to travel in forward gear; avoid reverse gear maneuvers to save gas.
27. Regular tune-ups ensure best economy; check owner's manual for recommended maintenance intervals. Special attention should be given to maintaining clean air filters -- diminished air flow increases gas waste. Consumers can easily check the health of their 1996 or newer vehicle themselves at a convenient self-service OBD kiosk.
28. Use an energy conserving motor oil such as a good brand of 10w30 multi-weight when changing the motor oil.
29. Inspect suspension and chassis parts for occasional misalignment. Bent wheels, axles, bad shocks, broken springs, etc. create engine drag and are unsafe at high traveling speeds.
30. Remove snow tires during good weather seasons; traveling on deep tire tread really robs fuel!
31. Inflate all tires to maximum limit. Each tire should be checked periodically for alignment and balance. When shopping for new tires, get large diameter tires for rear wheels. Radial designs are the recognized fuel-savers; check manufacturer’s specifications for maximum tire pressures.
32. Remove vinyl tops - they cause air drag. Rough surfaces disturb otherwise smooth air flow around a car’s body. Bear in mind when buying new cars that a fancy sun roof helps disturb smooth air flow (and mileage).
33. Auto air conditioners can reduce fuel economy by 10% to 20%. Heater fan, power windows and seats increase engine load; the more load on your engine, the less miles per gallon.
34. Avoid carrying unneeded items in the trunk or back seat. Extra weight decreases gas mileage, especially when driving up inclines. An extra 250 to 500 pounds of weight in the car will result in a 1 to 2 mile per gallon loss of fuel economy.
35. Car pools reduce travel monotony and gas expense - all riders chip in to help you buy. Conversation helps to keep the driver alert. Pooling also reduces traffic congestion, gives the driver easier maneuverability and greater "steady speed" economy. For best results, distribute passenger weight evenly throughout car.
36. During cold weather watch for icicles frozen to car frame. Up to 100 lbs. can be quickly accumulated! Unremoved snow and ice cause tremendous wind resistance. Warm water thrown on (or hosed on) will eliminate it fast.
37. Learn more about fuel economy from government experts.
CLICK HERE to learn more about fuel economy and cheap gas prices from the U.S Department of Energy.