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.