Thursday, May 29, 2008

How to beat the high cost of driving

With gas prices threatening to hit $5 per gallon and beyond this summer, there are some easy
and effective methods you can use to beat the high cost of driving.

1. Avoid excessive idling. Your car burns up a tremendous amount of fuel while sitting still. If you are going to be parked for more than a minute shut off the engine, go outside and stretch your legs.

2. Coast up to stop lights. It doesn't make much sense to step on the accelerator just to hurry up and wait at a traffic light. Chances are if you coast up slowly, the light will change by the time you get there.

3. Avoid excessive braking. Try to reduce your speed by limiting your use of the gas pedal instead of hitting the brakes unnecessarily. This tip alone can increase your gas mileage by 10%

4. While on a road trip and during highway driving, keep your cars speed between 55 and 60 miles per hour and stay in the far right lane. At speeds over 60, wind resistance increases exponentially. At 70mph your engine has to work almost twice as hard than it does at 55.

I'm not exaggerating when I tell you that slowing down 10mph can increase your gas mileage by 30 to 40 percent.

5. Get the junk out of the trunk. Removing 20 pounds of extra weight from your vehicle can equate to a 1% savings. Clean out that car!

6. Look on the inside of the drivers door jamb for tire inflation information and keep your tires filled to the maximum recommended pressure. This keeps your wheels turning smoothly with the least amount of resistance. You can save 15% of your fuel costs this way.

7. Keep your oil changes, air filter and other maintenance up to date.

8. Always visit the gas station first thing in the morning. The heat of the day makes fuel expand by up to 3%,which means you get less gas for your money on a hot day. Cool fuel saves you money.

If you follow all of these tips you can expect to more than double what you get out of a tank of gas. It's also fun to challenge yourself to see how far you can stretch a four dollar gallon.


The Merry Widow said...

Good points, Hammer! I do a number of those things, but had forgotten about the early morning. I appreciate the reminder!
Good morning, G*D bless and Maranatha!


nanc said...

"junk in the trunk'?

are you trying to tell us something, hammer?


Almtnman said...

Those are some very good tips.

Here's a tip from the NASCAR folks, inflate your tires with nitrogen instead of compressed air. Race car tires are filled with nitrogen. The tires run cooler with nitrogen and nitrogen molecules are larger in size than compressed air molecules, which means once you fill the tire, it won't slowly leak out like compressed air does. A cooler running tire means you increase your mileage just a little and you also have a properly inflated tire all the time. The cost is higher to inflate it, but it's there from then on until you have a flat.

The Frank Family said...

Follow the other idea of nascar and draft on the highway behind our large truck friends. This is certainly dangerous but aren't most fun things? I mean......I would never do that. Oh well, I guess my mechanic side is showing through.

Z said...

Just hung up the phone with a friend who'll be driving from LA to Anderson, Indiana in midJune. I'm copying this and will give it to him ... Thanks, Hammer.

nanc said...

am i the only one who's taking offense to the "get rid of 20 pounds of junk in the trunk" comment?

okay, hammer - THAT'S ONE!


cube said...

Good tips all!

Hammer said...

How about gear in the rear?

Nope that sounds bad too... ;)

Steve Harkonnen said...

5. Get the junk out of the trunk. Removing 20 pounds of extra weight from your vehicle can equate to a 1% savings. Clean out that car!

That's it! My fellow carpooler, Josh, is going on a diet.

Always On Watch said...

Avoid excessive idling. Your car burns up a tremendous amount of fuel while sitting still.

Good luck with THAT in this D.C area traffic!

I drive as if I have a raw egg under my foot. Saves lots of gas, I tell ya.

Z said...

I'd personally be more offended if he'd said "get rid of the 20 pounds in the FRONT SEAT"!!

FJ said...

Nitrogen's a new one on me. I wonder where I can get compressed nitrogen with a tire valve fitting

nanc said...

i saved approximately 2.7 gallons of gasoline today by just being lazy!

Almtnman said...

A few tire shops have it, so you would have to ask around to find one in your area. The last time I checked though it was about $7.50 per tire to inflate with nitrogen. But it won't slowly leak out like conmpressed air does.

FJ said...

Thanks al. Can I call you al?

nanc said...


i call him mt. man!

Almtnman said...

AMM works on other blogs and forums for me!