Pain at the pump is real. Whether you’re a daily commuter or not, it’s frustrating to see your hard-earned money spent on...gasoline. The good news is there are a number of low-cost or no-cost ways to keep your monthly fuel budget down. Here are seven ways to do just that:
1. Keep Your Tires Inflated
One of the biggest obstacles to better gas mileage is rolling resistance. Every single pound of pressure missing from your vehicle’s tires adds to the burden. Check tire pressure once a week, before you start commuting for the week, and you’ll likely see an immediate difference in the distance you can travel on one tank of gas.
2. Analyze and Adjust the Way You Drive
One of the fastest ways to improve gas mileage is to honestly assess your driving style. Do you brake hard and fast? Do you accelerate quickly?
It might be time to make some changes for the sake of your gas budget. Instead of braking hard on turns, take your foot off the gas well in advance and try to coast. Instead of getting the jump on all the other cars when the light turns green, accelerate slowly and steadily. It’s little tweaks like this that, over time, will result in a much more efficient use of fuel.
3. Unpack Your Trunk
Just a couple of heavy gym bags can take a toll on your gas mileage. When you don’t need the items in your trunk, get the excess weight out of there! Unloading your unnecessary luggage will instantly reduce the taxing load on your engine.
4. Remove Roof Rack Items
Since you returned from vacation, you just haven’t had time to take down your roof rack cargo bin. Or maybe you’ve kept your kayak or bike on top of your car for a week or two. It might take some extra time, but removing the roof rack items will immediately improve your vehicle’s aerodynamics and gas mileage.
5. Follow the Speed Limit
Believe it or not, following the speed limit is good practice for more than safety reasons. This can be hard to get used to, but that’s what cruise control is for! Keep a steady, slower pace and you’ll see it pay off at the pump.
6. Pick and Choose When to Use Your A/C
Your vehicle’s air conditioning system makes life bearable in the summer on the road, but it’s a total drag on your gas mileage. If you’re in stop and go traffic, try rolling down the windows for air flow and switch off the A/C. Of course, once you’re traveling at highway speeds, it’s more fuel efficient to depend on the air conditioning. Pick and choose the situation when A/C is the best choice - don’t leave it on all the time.
7. Replace Your Air Filter
A clogged air filter makes your engine work harder, and that means more fuel is burned in the process. Replace your air filter with a new one and you could immediately boost fuel efficiency by 15 percent. That’s a decent return on investment!
Come in to Living the Dream and we will give your car a comprehensive tune-up with the end goal of saving you money at the pump, but also keeping you out of the repair shop! Preventative maintenance is the best kind, both for your vehicle and your wallet.