Gas prices are slowly ticking back up, and if you are in a big city, prices are topping the $4.00 mark. Experts remark that as we inch closer to spring, we can expect an even steeper increase in fares. Though we cannot control the price at the pump, we can control how efficiently our vehicle uses gas.
- Calm Yourself - Aggressive driving, speeding, and constantly jerking on the breaks are not only dangerous, but can lower your mileage by up to 33% on the highway and 5% on city streets. When you tail someone, for example, you are constantly surging on the gas pedal and releasing a thrust of gas that would have been maintained at a steady rate. So make for a safer and more comfortable ride while also adding room to your fuel tank.
- Maintain Speed- The optimal speed for fuel efficiency is 60 mph on average, although this varies by vehicle type and model. Every 5mph over the optimal speed can cost roughly $0.28 a mile based on a national average fuel cost of $3.48.
- Lighten Up- Although the impact is not huge, it does help to remove excess cargo from your car. Take out any heavy, unnecessary items from your vehicle. An extra 100 pounds can weigh down your MPG by up to 2%. This number also varies in relation to your vehicles size and weight. If you are one who tends to use your vehicles backstage for storage or unwanted household items, why not donate them to a cause you support? There are many great organizations that accept donations in the form of clothing or unwanted clutter.
- Not Ideal to Idle- If you ever wait with your engine running for longer than 30 seconds, it is best to turn your engine off than keep it idling. Though it is a common misconception that starting your engine uses more fuel than letting it sit idle, any wait longer than 30 seconds actually drains your tank of fuel faster by about $.01 to $.03 cents per minute.
- Take a Cruise- When you maintain a constant speed, you are hitting the accelerator less, using less gas, and saving more money. This is great for long road-trips with stretches of driving speed at a steady pace and minimal traffic.
- Enjoy Some Fresh Air- If you are driving on a day with mild temperatures, turn off the air-conditioning or heat, open the windows, and feel the breeze. Breathing in stale air doesn’t provide your body with the same type of oxygen that a gust of the natural outdoors does. Do your wallet and your body a favor; roll down that glass, increase your gas mileage, and absorb the Vitamin D your body has been lacking this winter.
- Go Public- As gas prices continue to trend to new highs, now is a great time to look into public transportation. It is cheap, reliable, and in metro locations fairly easy and accessible. Though a big lifestyle transition at first, in many areas it could actually save you time on your morning commute. Save time and money using public transportation.
Do you have any other suggestions you feel were left out? Feel free to share them here or on our Facebook and Twitter pages! We are always looking for new and helpful tips and always love to hear your recommendations!