Ben Todd | Apr 16, 2017 | 3
How To Make Your Gas Money Stretch Further
Gas prices in most countries are now prohibitively high. Yet, we all rely on cars so much that we are forced to pay whatever prices we are given. It seems to be one of the few market sectors where increased competition does not mean lower prices. Sure, when the Arabian countries keep their prices the same, then Russia makes less profit, but have you ever heard the words “Cheap Gas” and honestly believed it? Even when market forces and competition affect the price of gas, the benefit to us is very small. The only way to make a saving on gas and lower your gas budget is to limit and lower the amount you use every day. Here are a few tips to help make your fuel last a little longer and save gas money.
Should You Buy A More Fuel Efficient Car?
The first and most obvious thing you should consider is whether to get a more fuel-efficient car. This alone can save you a very lot of money annually. You can buy a modern car such as a Smart car that is highly advanced and able to run on very little gas. It is in the interest of car manufacturers to create more fuel-efficient cars because fuel efficiency is a big selling point. Here are a few more tips to help stop you wasting any more gas in your current car.
Buy A Smaller And Lighter Car
You can buy a smaller car that is lighter and has a smaller engine. A smaller car is typically slower to accelerate and has a lower top speed because it has a smaller engine. It is going to use less fuel as it moves, which also means it will take you further with less fuel.
Lower The Weight Of The Car Yourself
So many people keep things in their car boots for extended periods, and they are wasting money by transporting it around. You should remove all unnecessary items from your car so that it is a light as possible. The scholars at Oxford University in the United Kingdom proved that something as lightweight as a moustache can cost you up to $10 of gas per year if you were to do an average of 15,000 miles annually.
Make Sure Your Car Is Serviced Regularly
The things such as spark plugs and oil content will all have an effect on your car’s fuel efficiency. Even small changes that occur during a service will help you save money on your fuel bills in the long run. What you lose by having your car serviced regularly is made up for with savings in gas money.
Keep Your Tires Pumped Up
Tires will go flat eventually of their own accord. Rubber is good at keeping air in tyres, but it is not perfect and tiny amounts of air are forced out of them as you ride and as your car sits still. The loss of air may be made worse by changes in temperature or even changes in road conditions. You need to check your tyres regularly to make sure they are at the air-pressure levels that your car manufacturer suggests. It seems like a small and silly thing, but keeping your tires properly inflated is a great way to save gas money.
Do Not Use Your Air Conditioning As Much
Air conditioning has to use gas in order to create cool air. Heating the air is often less wasteful because many cars will draw heat from the engine itself instead of creating heat independently. Some argue that you should wind a window down and cool yourself that way, but the added drag factor will also cost you gas money, so consider winding down your window if you are driving slowly, and using your air conditioning on the highway.
Be Aware Of Your Car’s Drag Factor
A lot of people forget that wind resistance is a big gas money waster. The people who do not fix cracks and dents in their bodywork are actually wasting gas as they drive. The people who leave roof racks or bike racks on their cars when they drive are making their cars less aerodynamic and so are adding to their fuel bills. Things such as additions to the car from extended mudguards to flags you hang off the back are increasing your car’s drag effect and making your car less fuel efficient. Everything you add is likely to make your car less aerodynamic and therefore less fuel-efficient.
Use A Fuel-System Cleaning Solution
Try something such as a fuel injection cleaning solution. It both helps clean the injectors and will help protect your car’s fuels system against the threat of corrosion. Adding the chemical solution to your car when you fill it with gas will increase the efficiency of the car and so will save you gas money. It will also help to restore the acceleration and power of the car. To get a rough idea of the sort of chemical solution you may use, here is a short list of fuel injection cleaners that are available in the USA.
- Chevron Techron
- Red Line SI-1
- Rislone Fuel Injector Cleaner
- BG 44K
- Royal Purple Max-Clean
- Lucas Fuel Treatment
Driving Tips That Will Save You Gas Money
The way you drive your vehicle can have a significant effect on the amount of fuel your vehicle consumes. Typically, aggressive and fast driving will inevitably result in you using more fuel than you may have done otherwise. Take note of the tips listed below if you would like to save money on your fuel bills.
Consider Switching Your Car Off In Traffic Jams
It used to be that if you switched off your engine off and on again that the car would consume a large amount of fuel as it warms up again, but these days with modern cars you may quite safely turn off your car at traffic jams.
This is true for two reasons, and the first reason is that modern cars do not really drink up as much fuel as they used to when they started. The second reason is that your car should be reasonably warm when you switch it back on, unless you are stuck in traffic for a good twenty minutes. Many modern cars have a feature where you engine turns itself off when you put on your handbrake, and turns itself back on again when you release the hand brake and press your foot on the accelerator (gas pedal).
Brake More Infrequently (Within Reason)
If you are the type of driver who has to brake frequently, then you are either stuck in inner city traffic frequently, or your driving could use a little tune up. If you brake frequently, then it means that you are not judging the traffic very well. Most of your deceleration should happen due to you taking your foot off the accelerator. You will also find that if you accelerate too much that you will need to brake more often. Do not accelerate as fast and you will save fuel and gas money.
Reverse Into Parking Bays
When you reverse and maneuver into a parking bay, your car is warm and so loses less fuel. If you have to reverse out of the parking bay when you set off, then the car is cold and will use more fuel. If you reverse into parking spaces, then you can leave the parking bay in one smooth motion. Doing it that way will ensure that you consume as little fuel as possible during your first few minutes of traveling. If you have a very modern car or a hybrid car, then this tip is moot.
Stick To The Speed Limit
Most cars are designed so that they run most efficiently between the speeds of thirty to seventy miles per hour. Going even faster than seventy miles per hour is going to cost you a fuel and money. The roads you drive have had their speed limit chosen to enable safe, but efficient driving. If you are driving through a thirty mile per hour zone, then you are going to come across lots of things that make you slow down such as road obstacles, sharp bends, and motorists traveling at the speed limit. It is much more fuel efficient to drive at the speed limit.
Consider Block Gear Changing If It Is Safe And Legal To Do So
If you go from second gear to fourth gear, then it will save you a little bit of fuel if you are driving downhill. The same is true if you come down from fifth to third gear when decelerating. Obviously, this means you will have to slow down enough to get it into third gear, but it will not be a problem in most circumstances.
Gently Turn Into Corners
Do not turn corners with a jerking motion and do not accelerate away too fast when turning out of junctions. Turning sharply will slow you down which means you will have to use more fuel to maintain your speed, and accelerating away to fast will swallow up your fuel unnecessarily. Modern truck companies actually install software that detects if a driver is taking too many sharp and jerking turns.
Conclusion – Changing Your Habits Is Your Biggest Asset
Habits such as using the air conditioning for the sake of it, or throwing things in the back of your boot and forgetting about them, are typical habits that will cost you gas money. Create positive habits, such as frequently checking your fluid levels, topping up your tires, and using fuel injection cleaning fluids, and you will save money.