The good news is it seems like gas prices have stabilized at around $3 a gallon, depending on where you live. So it isn’t necessary have to take a second mortgage out to fill your tank, but you are still paying more than a few dollars at the pump. If you are interested in getting a few miles more out of your gas dollar, check out the following suggestions:
Drive at a moderate speed – This is the ABCs of gas mileage. Consumer Reports once tested a Honda Accord at a steady 65 mph and the car’s fuel economy dropped from 49 mpg to 42 mpg compared to 55 mph. Driving at 75 mph cost the car another 5 mpg..
Don’t stop and start – Obviously avoid hard acceleration and braking whenever possible. Consumer Reports tested an older Camry and found that frequent bursts of acceleration and braking reduced mileage by 2 to 3 mpg. Obviously there are times when you can’t avoid traffic, but when you can, look ahead and drive as smoothly as possibly.
Remember aerodynamics –At highway speeds, more than 50 percent of engine power goes to overcoming aerodynamic drag. Of course, some weekend outings often require the use of a roof rack, but try to avoid carry things on top of your vehicle when you don’t have to. Even an empty rack can create enough drag to suck gas mileage down 5 mpg.
Check your vehicle – Under-inflated tires are one of the most common causes of poor gas mileage because they have more rolling resistance, which means your engine has to work harder to keep your car moving. A dirty air filter restricts the flow of air into the engine, which harms performance and economy. Motor oil that has lost its viscosity (if it has turned black, that’s a hint) also makes your engine work harder. That means wasted gasoline.
Some myths about gas mileage savings include morning fill-ups allegedly get you more gas for the money. Gas may be denser in the cool morning, but the temperature of the gasoline coming out of the fuel nozzle changes very little, if at all. Open tailgates and tonneau covers and another myth for improving gas mileage. These can actually hurt gas mileage.
Another way you can save money on the cost of driving is by going over your auto insurance. For most people, reviewing their auto policies (or any policy) is rarely done. So sit down with your insurance professional and look at ways to keep some of your premium dollars in your pocket.