Gas prices keep going up. While many of us can’t yet afford an electric vehicle, and we still need to get places, there are little tweaks we can make to save money on gas by burning less of it. Here are nine tips for your car, your driving, and your lifestyle to save some cash at the pumps and help the planet just a bit.
Maintain your car
Optimize your car’s performance and minimize fuel consumption by rotating your tires every 5,000 to 8,000 miles, replacing the air filter, and changing your motor oil every 3,000 to 4,000 miles. Also, keep your tires at the recommended PSI.
Keep an empty trunk
It’s pretty simple: a car works harder with more weight. So, lighten up your load by taking everything you don’t need out of the backseat and the trunk.
Don’t spend time warming up or cooling down
Don’t waste time with your car idling, letting the heater warm it up in winter or the AC cooling it in summer. Keep a cover on it in winter or window guards in summer to keep it as close as possible to the desired temperature, so you don’t burn fuel getting comfortable.
Aerodynamics and flow
You may not be a professional racer but drag is important for you too. Keep your windows closed on the highway, and take any racks, cases, or flags off of your roof if you don’t need them.
Take it easy and slowly
Fast driving and aggressive driving burn more fuel. Gas mileage starts decreasing after 50 miles per hour and getting ahead of people and stop-start driving in traffic actually burns more gas. Take your time, unwind, maybe think ahead, and drive slowly to get where you need to go.
Don’t use your engine unless you’re moving
If you’re picking a friend up at the airport and waiting in the cell phone lot, turn your car off. It may keep the AC on, but you’re burning gas while you’re idling for no real purpose.
Fly like the crow
Planning an efficient route can mean the difference between an uninterrupted trip and idling in traffic and burning a tank of gas. Use maps and apps to check ahead for traffic and avoid rush hour if you can.
Glide to a stop
If you see a stop or a red light far ahead of you, don’t spend more gas getting there and then slam on the breaks. Ease into the stop and glide to the spot ahead of time.
Consider the bus or the train
We’ve said it before, we’ll say it again: sharing rides and public transportation mean less gas burned per person. This also means that you’ll save money. If you can, seriously consider using the bus or subway, if it’s available, and plan ahead to take some extra time or walk a little farther.