Gas prices are a lot lower this year but may not stay that way very long. You can do some very easy basic things to start saving money on gas. Examining your driving habits is a good starting point. Changing bad driving habits could save you the most money at the pump. There are some auto service and repairs that you can do by yourself without being a certified mechanic. You need to buy a service manual for your vehicle, basic tools, wrenches screw drivers and a tire gauge. These items can be purchased at your local auto parts store. This is a very small investment compared to one trip to Mr. Goodwrench.
1. Try lowering your driving speed to a slower but safe speed and watch your gas mileage increase. You may get some unfriendly gestures from motorists passing you, but you are saving the cash. If you decide to drive at a lower speed, give your rear view mirror more attention, watch for high-speed drivers running on cruise control with a cell phone in their hand.
2. Start checking your own tire pressure. Get an accurate reading, always check the tire pressure when they are cold or before you drive the car very far. A hot tire show a higher pressure. The recommended tire pressure will be in your owners manual or on a visible decals somewhere on your vehicle door frame. Most service stations have air hoses. Smaller compressors are not expensive. You might as well have your own air compressor, handy for all inflatables. The correct air pressure in your tires will help save a lot on your gas bill and the life of your tires.
3. Another low-cost gas saver is changing the engine air cleaner regularly. Workers in the automotive section of your big-box store will help you get the right air cleaner. This is an easy project on most cars. If you hire someone to do it, the filter will cost more and you also pay for the labor.
4. Check your vehicle owner’s manual for service schedules and have service done when miles indicate service is due. Ask your maintenance people if they changed the fuel filter. Many service centers don’t change the gas filter as part of the service. A clogged fuel filter will rob you of many miles per gallon.
5. Give yourself a driving test the next time you’re on the road. You should always be driving with your eyes on the road way ahead of you. When driving in city traffic you can learn to time driving to get to the traffic lights when they are green. Stop and go driving takes more gas. Don’t race to the next red light and have to use the brakes to make a complete stop. Don’t tailgate the car in front of you. If he drives with one foot on the gas and the other on the brake you’ll find yourself driving the same way. When you pass another car use just enough acceleration to pass the car safely Don’t push the pedal to the metal, going into passing gear isn’t needed if you have room to pass. Bad driving habits equal bad gas mileage.
6. A bad cruise control can cause your engine to drink more gas. The next time you’re driving with the cruise control on, listen to your engine or watch the speedometer. If you’re on level ground and your accelerating and decelerating your cruise control is not working right get it checked out. Most cruise controls never will make your engine run like a steady foot on the gas pedal. Don’t use cruise in hilly country, drives your engine crazy.
Your air conditioner running will knock a couple miles to the gallon off your millage, open a window part way, or just use the vents. Keep your car light don’t haul junk around. Plan trips, the freeway trp is longer but you miss all the stop and go little towns. Local shopping, plan two or three stops instead of trips.
If you use a credit card for gas pay off the balance each month. Buy lower cost gas at pump your own stations, it probably came through the same pipe as the major brand.
If you live in a cold climate don’t take off with a cold engine but use common sense on how long you run the engine to warm the interior.
If you are driving an ‘old or new gas guzzler’, you might want to consider buying a newer vehicle that gets good mileage. A nice certified used car can be purchased for a lot less than a new car and saves you money on gas too.
These are some very basic and easy things do to help keep your gas expense down, it is still the big item in the family budge