Stick it to The Gas Man

I love my car. It’s sleek, roomy and has more bells and whistles than I ever thought I could afford. What I do not like is my gas tank. It’s big and costly. I paid over $80 for a tank of gas a few days ago. Yuck.

The price of gas has risen steadily for nearly two weeks straight now and I’m betting it doesn’t slow down. The former president of Shell Gasoline says that fuel prices could reach $5 a gallon in 2012. AAA’s Daily Fuel Gauge Report shows that the average gas price is $3.835 for regular, $3.974 for mid-grade gasoline and $4.103 for premium as of yesterday.

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With gas prices increasing over 60 cents since January, it’s no surprise that many of us are looking for creative ways to reduce our fuel consumption and get better gas mileage. Instead of driving around town till you’re running on fumes and searching for the cheapest gas stations try one or more of these resourceful gas saving tips below.

1.    Use your cruise control. It improves your gas mileage by maintaining a consistent speed. Try not to tap your brakes excessively or accelerate quickly once the light turns green. According to Edmunds.com, using this technique could save you up to 14% on your gas mileage.

2.    Get rid of any extra weight in your vehicle. The heavier the car, the more energy it requires to run. For every extra 100 pounds you eliminate carrying around in your car, you improve your gas mileage by as much as 2 percent. So take out the golf clubs, hockey equipment, and if your car is a newer model SUV you can remove that third row of seats you barely ever use.

3.    Drive the speed limit. Not only will you reduce your chances of getting an incredibly expensive traffic ticket but you also improve your gas mileage. On long trips the slower you drive the more you save, up to 14 percent. So instead of driving like a maniac, buzzing by people at 80 miles an hour on the freeway cut it back to 55 or 60 mph.

4.    Reduce idle time. Sitting at lights, in traffic and drive thrus are lowering your gas mileage. Avoiding excessive idle time, Edmunds.com says you can save yourself up to 19 percent. If you are going to be sitting any longer than a minute turn off your engine to save the most money.

5.    Download Apps to help. Gas Buddy is an app the helps users find the cheapest gas stations in over 243 cities across the United States (also tracks Canadian fuel stations). The information is compiled based on users reports and the more reports you submit the higher your chances are at winning prizes like a free tank of gas. You can also check out Bankrate.com’s gas mileage calculator to help determine if it is worth saving three or four cents a gallon by driving to a cheaper gas station a mile or two away.

6.    Keep up the maintenance on your car. Make sure the tires are filled up, your filters are clean and your car’s in top shape. The harder your engine has to work the less energy efficient it becomes. Replacing a clogged air filter can improve your car’s gas mileage by 10 percent. Under inflated tires can reduce your efficiency by almost 3 percent and will need to be replaced 15 percent sooner than properly inflated tires.   A worn spark plug can reduce a car engine’s fuel efficiency by 30%! The U.S. Department of Energy asserts that getting a tune up or fixing up a car that has failed an emissions test can improve gas mileage by about 4 percent.

A sure-fire way to improve your car’s fuel economy is to change your driving habits. Drive a little slower, maintain your speed, reduce the weight, and keep your car in tip top shape to improve your car’s overall fuel economy, up to 37 percent. If you combine several of the tips above you will save serious scratch. That’s advice you can take all the way to the bank!

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Be sure to comment bellow to share your gas saving tips with fellow League of Power members.  We’re all feeling the pain, so let’s save some money.

Keeping Money in Your Pocket,

Nancy Patterson

One Response

  1. Dick Short

    Look ahead,plan ahead if you are going to have to stop or turn take your foot off the gas and coast,think any time your foot is on the brake you are wasting the gas that was required to accelerate


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