The constant rise and fall of gas prices, which has frugal motorists filling up their gas tanks the night before a gigantic increase, has made saving money on this necessity an essential part of daily commuting. If your wallet is currently hurting from all the times you had to stop for gas, there are several strategies that can boost your miles per gallon as long as you’re willing to make small changes to your driving habits.
Here are our five best ways to save on gas.
1. Opting for Gas Reward Cards
Many gas stations offer reward cards for discounted gas at a surprisingly consistent pace that gives regular customers the chance to save a few pennies per gallon for staying loyal. Depending on how much you fill up every time you visit a gas station, you could be receiving a decent discount for every gallon you fill. Some places offer reward points that can be used for free gifts like free windshield fluid or snack bars, but you should check if there is one specifically for discounted gasoline.
There are also gas cards that are sometimes on sale. Gas stations may allow you to purchase a card worth $100 for only $95, which saves you an easy $5 on gas. To prevent mass hoarding of these cards, there is usually a limit of one per customer and they’re very limited. You could also look for partnership deals with other businesses where you receive a card loaded with free gas for purchasing something from them. It never hurts to search and you may find something you need along with free gas.
2. Proper Maintenance
You should check your tire’s air pressure and clean out your air filter regularly if you want the most out of your vehicle. Poorly inflated tires will contribute to weaker overall handling, stronger brake pressure for stops, and slower acceleration. This all contributes to your vehicle using more gas to do practically anything it needs to for regular use. Tire alignment is another important step for gaining more miles per gallon as straightened tires save you around $0.39 per gallon. Every penny helps when you’re driving every day.
3. Driving Slower and Smoother
You should never accelerate and brake in quick succession if you want to save money on gas. Stepping on your brakes constantly like in traffic jams or suddenly when failing to beat a red light can cost you up to 35% in fuel efficiency and ruin your brake pads. It’s better to gradually climb in speed and decelerate when you can instead of applying all your pressure in your go and stops.
Slowing down on the highway can also save you more money. While technically a little misleading, you should aim to drive at a consistent pace instead of changing speeds often on highways. This means driving at a comfortable 75 mph for the long run is better than moving between 70 and 80 mph for fuel efficiency. Your engine eats up more gas when it has to constantly readjust for speed.
4. Use Your Phone’s Tech
If you’re like the rest of the Western world, you probably have a smartphone that can install useful apps. Find a suitable gas app that either alerts you when gas prices fall within your area or one that locates the cheapest gas station within a given range. There could be an argument made against this approach as the trip to the cheapest gas station could cost you more than visiting your normal one, but the savings are more likely to be beneficial than sticking to just one gas station.
Research has also shown that purchasing gas on Wednesday or Thursday before 10 AM allows you to get the best prices before the weekend increase in traffic increases the price. Combined with your smartphone’s tech, you could potentially save a lot of money by visiting the cheapest gas station during these days instead of choosing the most convenient one on your route home.
5. Don’t Idle
Easily one of the more common problems associated with ineffective gas management, idling for any length of time is not a good idea. Idling for more than 10 seconds wastes more gas than turning off your engine and restarting it again. If there is a task that requires more than 10 seconds of time, which pretty essential encompasses all tasks worth doing, turn off your engine and save gas. Warming up your car’s engine is also a pointless task in wasting gas as most modern vehicles do not require the process. Even in the winter time, most vehicles can go without a warm up period.
So there you have five great ways to conserve gas as well as save money when you do have to fill up. Try to remember as many of these as you can and before you know it you’ll be saving hundreds per year on gasoline for your vehicle.