Follow our advice and squeeze the most mileage out of every gallon of gas you purchase this summer.
Travel is expected to be back on the rise this summer. Spurred by an upbeat economic outlook and lower-than-expected fuel prices, AAA estimates that more than 32.1 million people will take to the road this Memorial Day weekend, the official start of the U.S. summer driving season. That’s more than a 5 percent increase over last year, and the first real uptick since the recession began two years ago.
1. Don’t leave your engine running when the car is not in use
This is contrary to the common myth that restarting your car wastes more gas than leaving the engine running for a few minutes. If you’re going to stop your car for more than a minute, leaving the engine running wastes more gas than restarting the engine.
2. Don’t buy gas during weekends
The best days for buying gas are on Wednesday or Thursday, while the worst are on Friday, Saturday and Sunday, when you can be charged a few more cents per gallon. So don’t purchase gas on Friday, Saturday and Sunday unless you absolutely need to.
Things you should know
“This gas-saving product improves fuel economy by 20 percent.”
Claims usually tout savings ranging from 12 to 25 percent. However, the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has evaluated or tested more than 100 alleged gas-saving devices and has not found any product that significantly improves gas mileage. In fact, some “gas-saving” products may damage a car’s engine or cause substantial increases in exhaust emissions.
Find out more at the FTC website
3. Use a rewards credit card that gives you a high percentage cash back or points on gas purchases
This is one of the most important tips to save money on gasoline, as by getting the right card, you will be able to save lots of money. Here are a few of the best credit cards when it comes to saving money on gas:
4. Don’t leave your windows open when driving at high speeds
When driving fast, use your air-conditioning instead of opening the windows if you’re feeling hot, since open windows increase aerodynamic drag which will in turn impact your gas mileage by up to 10%. On the other hand, if you’re feeling hot while driving through the city, you can turn off the aircon and open your windows, since the aircon can use up as much as 5% to 20% of your fuel when driving at a lower speed.
5. Get rid of unnecessary weight in your car
For every 250 pounds of weight you carry in your car, it uses up an additional mile per gallon in gasoline. So get rid of all the things you don’t need in your car and make sure you are not carrying around unnecessary items, because that will only make your trip more expensive.
Highway gas stations are usually a lot more expensive than other gas stations since drivers find it a lot more convenient to stop by gas stations along the highway.
6. Don’t use high octane gasoline unless your car really needs it
You will be able to save hundreds of dollars yearly by filling your tank with normal gasoline instead of high octane gasoline since it is considerably cheaper. If you’re not sure which type of gasoline you should use without damaging your car, you should ask your trusted mechanic.
7. Avoid highway gas stations
Highway gas stations are usually a lot more expensive than other gas stations since drivers find it a lot more convenient to stop by gas stations along the highway. They can end up charging you up to 15 cents more per gallon than the more economic gas stations in the neighborhood, which is a huge difference when you start adding it all up.
8. Get a Gas App for your smartphone
If you own a smartphone, save money by downloading one of the numerous Apps that can help you find the cheapest gas near your current location. See below for a list of highly rated apps.
9. Service your vehicle frequently
Studies have shown that a vehicle that has been properly maintained will consume less gas than a vehicle that hasn’t. By servicing and maintaining your vehicle with frequent oil changes, air filters, etc, it will stay much more fuel-efficient, and thus save you money on gas.
10. Drive smoothly
Braking or accelerating suddenly can decrease your fuel efficiency by 30%, and make your driving a lot more expensive.