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11 Ways to Save at the Gas Pumps

refueling at the gas pump
Find ways to save at the gas pump

by Katie Cullum

Seems like every few years we watch as the gas prices go up!  But you can save money by saving gas - stretching that gas money is a great way to save!

  1. Watch your speed. According to the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, driving 55 mph instead of 65 mph improves gas mileage by 15%. Slow down!
  2. Avoid aggressive driving. Eliminating “jackrabbit” starts and stops to improve gas mileage by 5%.
  3. Avoid idling when possible. Turn off the engine if you have a long wait. 
  4. Use cruise control when appropriate. Steady driving uses less fuel.
  5. Use AC less. Use air conditioning as little as possible. However, on warm days, running the AC may be more cost effective than driving with the windows down – which can cause drag and reduce aerodynamics.
  6. Maintain your car. Keep maintenance on schedule. Check and replace air filters regularly.
    1. Get regular oil changes. Use the manufacturer’s recommended grade of motor oil.
    2. Keep tires properly inflated and aligned.
  7. Remove excess weight. An extra 100 pounds in the trunk can reduce fuel economy by up to two percent. 
  8. Excess weight in the luggage rack on top creates wind resistance for additional reductions in fuel efficiency.
  9. Shop around for the best gas prices. Compare gas stations.  Remember to use the octane level you need.  Check the owner’s manual for the recommended octane level of gasoline for your car.  Don’t buy a more expensive octane level if your car doesn’t need it.
  10. Plan trips. Reduce miles by combining errands so that you make stops along a planned route.
  11. Spend less time driving. Take public transportation if available. Carpool. Walk. Ride a bike.

Only saving 2% doesn't sound like much but every bit counts (haven't you driven across town to save a few cents on gas?!).  Doing ALL of these things can add up to big savings over time.