As the coronavirus pandemic ensues, gas prices remain at major highs. Drivers have seen prices nearing $4.00 per gallon or more in some U.S. states in recent months. Now, American families are forced to reevaluate their budgets among rising gas prices, rent, mortgage, groceries, etc. With that, we have a few tips on how you can best save money at the pumps.
Lowered gas prices are more than desirable currently. However, it doesn’t seem to be in the cards for folks any time soon. In fact, CNBC states gas prices have risen nearly 50% since last year. That said, many of the tips below tie into simple driving habits and vehicle maintenance. Combine good practices on both parts and we all might be able to save a few bucks in our future travels.
Personal Driving Habits Contribute to Decreased Gas Mileage
That said, the outlet informs readers all of the advice is based on the assumption that fuel costs $3.31 per gallon. The first simply urges drivers to ease up on their vehicle’s brakes and accelerator. According to the U.S. Department of Energy, gas mileage decreases rapidly at speeds more than 50 miles per hour. Further, frequent hard stops put your brakes under increased duress, using more gas than we realize. The department then suggests coasting to red lights and down hills, and in this way, drivers can save anywhere between $0.23-$0.46 per gallon.
This might come as a no-brainer, however, the U.S. Department of Energy encourages drivers to avoid letting their cars idle for too long. Depending on the length of time the car is left running, it can cost anywhere between $0.01 and $0.02 per minute.
Added weight is another major factor when it comes to saving gas. Specifically, the outlet states those that store salt and sand in their vehicles for emergency purposes or keep items such as bike racks and cargo containers on the vehicles year-round use much more gasoline than those that don’t. While the added weight pertains less to smaller vehicles, those with larger cars and trucks can potentially save up to $0.56 per gallon once that load is removed.
Vehicle Maintenance Plays a Crucial Role in Saving on Fuel
The above touches on simple practices and decisions drivers can make in order to best save money when filling up at the pump. However, below, we address habits regarding vehicle maintenance that will improve your car’s gas mileage even more.
CNBC encourages readers to pay attention to their vehicle’s tune-up schedule. While small maintenance issues might save a few cents on the gallon here and there, major issues, such as a faulty oxygen sensor may reportedly improve gas mileage up to 40%.
Folks should also remain aware of their vehicle’s tire pressure. With decreased pressure, gas mileage drops for every 1 PSI below the recommended amount by 0.2%. It also causes unnecessary wear on the vehicle’s tires.
And finally, make sure you’re using the recommended grade motor oil. The outlet reports maintaining the correct motor oil increases gas mileage by 1-2%. Further, be sure to look for brands that are marked “Energy Conserving.”
While these tips might seem cumbersome to longtime drivers, reevaluating one’s driving habits might help save more than we realize, especially during a time where prices everywhere see major highs.