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How to save money on gas
Drive smarter to save on gas money at your next fill-up.
These 10 tips can help you make sure you’re getting the most mileage out of every tank. Taking these proactive measures to care for your car and adjust your driving habits can help you improve your fuel efficiency.
What's in this guide?
- Check your tires
- Replace your air filter
- Accelerate carefully
- Maintain a consistent speed
- Don't idle
- Use air conditioning sparingly
- Get into high gear
- Use cruise control
- Buy gas during non-peak times
- Keep an eye out for the best gas prices
- Compare car insurance providers
- Bottom line
- Frequently asked questions about fuel savings
Check your tires
Maintaining your tires at the correct air pressure can improve your mileage by up to 3.3%. Plus, properly inflated tires will last longer and perform better.
30 to 35 psi is the recommended tire pressure for most cars. You can check your owner’s manual or the inside of your driver-side door for the recommended pressure. If you’re going on a long trip or carrying a lot of stuff, you may need to increase your tire pressure.
Replace your air filter
A car’s engine is protected from airborne debris by a filter. Over time, dust and silt clog up the air filter, restricting the engine’s airflow. This can cause an increase in fuel usage. Replacing the filter is a quick and cheap job and could improve your fuel economy by up to 10%.
A car uses the most fuel under heavy acceleration. It is better to gather momentum slowly and maintain it. Avoid having a heavy right foot and remember hard braking shaves off speed, which is a waste of energy. Look far ahead and anticipate having to slow down. Accelerating and braking smoothly can increase your fuel efficiency by up to 33%.
Maintain a consistent speed
The more braking and accelerating you do, the more gas you use. Aim to maintain your speeds and coast as much as possible, especially if you’re approaching a slope or stop. In a traffic jam or stop-and-go traffic, avoid speeding up and stopping and instead gently tap the gas and coast to a stop.
When your car is parked with the engine running, you’re wasting gas. Yes, an engine uses a slightly increased amount of fuel to restart, but sitting for 15 minutes without moving will use significantly more. Turning off the engine also cuts your emissions, benefiting the environment and those around you.
Warming up your car? It will warm up faster when it’s running, so letting it sit for an extra 10 minutes is about as useful as an extra 30 seconds.
Use air conditioning sparingly
Did you know using climate control can cause you to burn 10% more fuel? For the best possible fuel economy, use a higher fan-speed rather than lower temperature settings and turn the recirculation on when using the AC — that’s the button that shows a car with an arrow inside it.
Also, if you’re going slow, try rolling down your windows instead. When you’re on the highway, air resistance makes air conditioning more economical.
Get into high gear
If you drive a manual car, use higher gears wherever possible. Higher gears stress the engine less and allow it to work at lower revs.
In an automatic car, easing up on the throttle will trigger your car to change up to a higher gear.
Use cruise control
Because cruise control can minutely adjust the throttle with more care than a human driver, it can help you save on gas, especially if your car has an eco mode. It’ll also prevent you from speeding.
Buy gas during non-peak times
Gas tends to be cheaper earlier in the week and earlier in the day. Many gas stations also increase prices before big road trip holidays, like Memorial Day, Fourth of July, Labor Day and Thanksgiving. That’s because of supply and demand, so it pays to plan ahead for your road trips.
You’ll also typically pay less for gas in the winter, due to the composition of gas when it’s colder.
Keep an eye out for the best gas prices
You can often find a good deal on gas by looking near state lines and away from busy highways or exits. Keep an eye out for gas prices around you to find the ones with the regularly lowest rates. Try a gas finder app that lets you compare gas prices to find the optimal time and place to fuel up.
Gas prices rise and fall based on stock prices and the global economy. For example, gas stocks fell during the pandemic, which causes prices at the pump to drop as well.
Compare car insurance providers
High gas prices can make even regular driving a budgetary concern, but paying attention to how you drive and taking care of your car to keep it in good condition can help you cut down on fuel costs. You can also save on the annual cost of owning a car by making sure you have the cheapest car insurance from a reliable company.
Frequently asked questions about fuel savings
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