The average American spends over $1,500 every year on gas for their vehicle. That’s a healthy chunk of change for petroleum – which isn’t very healthy for the environment. The more you save on gas, the better it is for your bottom line and the environment.
There are some common sense choices you can make to save money at the pump. First of all, the most obvious thing you can do is to buy a fuel-efficient car. You can use the FuelEconomy.gov website to compare the fuel efficiency of different vehicles so you can make an informed choice.
Once you have a vehicle, be sure to take care of it so that it maintains optimal performance. Follow the manufacturer’s service guidelines and schedule to regularly change the oil and other fluids, as well filters, belts, and hoses. You should also keep the tires properly inflated and rotate and replace them as they wear out.
Use common sense when you drive as well. Try to drive a constant, moderate speed and don’t go to fast. Speeding reduces fuel efficiency; as you drive over 60 mph, your fuel costs increase by up to 25 cents per gallon.
You should also avoid idling, or run the engine while parked or stuck in traffic. If you are packed in bumper-to-bumper and standing still for longer than 5 minutes, go ahead and shut your engine off until traffic begins to move.
Finally, don’t get too obsessed with trying to find the gas station with the cheapest fuel. It has been determined that it isn’t worth it to go more than one mile off your normal route to find cheaper gas. If you fill up a 12 gallon tank and save five cents per gallon, you only end up saving 60 cents. This essentially is negated by the time and fuel you consume going to an out-of-the-way station.