How to Get Better Gas Mileage

gas pump

Do you go out of your way to find the gas station with the lowest prices?  Often, this means waiting in a line.  But the extra time is worth it when filling up means sixty or seventy dollars or even more!  The high price of gasoline should also make you rethink the way you drive.

If you’re a speed demon you may have a hard time slowing down but slowing down is exactly what will help you save money at the pump.  Sudden accelerations, high speeds, and braking can waste a lot of gas.  Eliminating this behavior could save you up to 33 percent on gas.  Using cruise control is a great way to keep your speed steady.  According to each vehicle reaches its optimal fuel economy at different speeds, but gas mileage decreases rapidly once your speed exceeds 50 mph.  Each 5 mph you drive over 50 mph equals paying an additional $0.23 per gallon.  Ouch!  Another bonus to driving responsibly—safety.  Following this guideline helps in preventing auto accidents and keeps your car out of the body shop.

Even in Tacoma, Washington it’s hard to imagine owning a car without air conditioning.  But leaving your air conditioning off and turning up the vent when it’s hot can save you up to 20 percent on your gas bill.

Do you have a roomy trunk or an SUV that can hold a lot of stuff?  It might be tempting to use your vehicle for storage but it’s best to keep heavy items at home when possible.  Keep only necessary items in the car like your blanket, water, and other emergency items.  Leave your golf clubs at home unless you’re actually going golfing.  A heavy car has to work harder and this translates into more gas used.

If you’re waiting in your car and it’s cold–as is usually the case in Washington, you probably leave the car running.  Leaving your car on while parked can burn a quarter to half a gallon of gas in just one hour.  If you usually warm up your car in the morning and have a newer car, keep in mind that it’s not necessary to warm it up longer than 30 seconds.

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