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Did you know that with any type of vehicle you drive you could find big savings over the course of a year?Take advantage of these gas-saving tips and put the extra cash right back in your pocket.
This means savings not just in your pocket from the gas spared, but also saving the resources of the planet and creating less pollution in the place we all live.
The number of miles driven has continued to increase over the years. With that growth comes the negative impact of our driving habits on our planet, which makes now a better time than ever to practice driving more efficiently. There are some easy things that we all can do to save fuel. I’ve gathered some of my favorite ways that everyone can test-drive to drive greener.
13 Easy Ways to Save Gas (and the planet)
1. Drive like a sane person – avoid “angry driving” — like rapidly accelerating. It can cost you big time! Accelerating slowly from a green light and stopping gradually for a red light can cut fuel consumption by more than 35% (for bigger SUV’s). Also, cruise control is the way to go on the highway. Some vehicles can get roughly 14% better mileage using cruise control set at 70 mph compared to a driver cruising between speeds of 65 and 75 mph.
2. Buy discounted gas gift cards – Sites like plastic jungle.com and giftcardgranny.com sometimes sell discounted gas gift cards for gas stations like Shell, Gulf and Mobil. This means you could get a gas card worth, say, $100 but only pay about $95 for it. That’s $5 in free gas!
2. Empty the trunk – an extra 100 pounds in the trunk will reduce your fuel economy by 1 to 2 percent in the typical vehicle.
3. Strategically time your trips to the pump – try to fill up your tank on Wednesday or Thursday before 10 a.m. (right after 10 a.m. most station owners make their price change for the day). Gas prices rise on Thursdays in anticipation of weekend travel. Unless it is an emergency, do not buy gas Friday, Saturday or Sunday.
4. Turn off the air conditioning –the air conditioning can increase fuel consumption by up to 10 percent.
5. Keep the vehicle maintained – service it at regular intervals. Dirty oil is not only bad for your vehicle, but it requires more energy to work an engine through sludge. This helps prevent the larger repair bills down the road.
6. Be picky about where (and how) you fill up – avoid the convenient gas station on the side of the highway as you drive home from work, which can be up to $.15 more per gallon.
7. Use your smartphone – use the AAA Triptik or GasBuddy apps to find the cheapest gas in your area. You can also use your smartphone (the Maps app on the iPhone, for example, shows you traffic) to check the traffic before you leave the house so you can avoid gas-wasting backtracking and idling.
8. Coast to a stop – when you see a red light or stop sign coming up, let off the gas and coast to the stop instead of remaining accelerated and hitting the brakes when you get there. This not only saves gas, but your brakes get less of a workout.
9. Choose the best route – it’s interesting to note that the most efficient route to take in your driving may not be the shortest. Basically, you want as smooth a trip as possible while being relatively short, and you want to avoid as many stop-and-go scenarios as you can.
10. Don’t let the engine idle too long – don’t let your car idle, either when you warm it up or when you are at a standstill. If you’re going to be “standing” for more than a minute, running your engine wastes more gas than restarting the engine.
11. Check your air pressure – properly inflated tires can reduce fuel consumption by up to 3 percent! A low tire creates more drag on the pavement, and reduces your miles per gallon. Excessive air pressure in tires is dangerous and should be avoided as well. Check your manual (or look online) for the proper amount of pressure.
12. Make driving count – one of the best ways to drive greener is to simply not drive. By combining chores into one trip, it can save greatly on the fuel requirements as well as saving your valuable time. Plus, it’s less wear and tear on the vehicle itself, and it makes the roads less crowded for everyone. It’s a win-win for everybody.
13. Make it a game – Make saving gas a game. Track fuel used or miles driven this week, and see if you can beat it next week. Set goals for yourself along with rewards.
By following a few of these tips along with others, you may find that you can create direct savings for yourself and a healthier planet for everyone.