All right, everyone — raise your hand if you think gasoline prices are too low.
Now, let’s see the hands of all the people who think that gas prices are too high.
That’s what we thought. There’s not much we can do about pump prices themselves, but we can be smart about the way we consume gas when we drive.
Here are seven tips on how to save more money on gasoline per miles of driving.
- Cut your speed. All together now: “Decreasing your speed increases gas mileage.” Yeah, we’ve heard it before, but it’s so hard to put into practice sometimes. Here’s an idea: position your vehicle behind someone who is driving at the speed limit, and just stay in that lane for as long as you can. It’ll reduce the temptation to speed.
- Learn how to coast. No, not through life. (Slackers!) On the road. Try to cut down on braking and accelerating and just let your car coast. You can do it down a hill or as you approach a red light or stop sign. Stomping on your pedals uses up gas, so try to minimize that as much as you can.
- Use the cruise. News flash: cruise control is not just for long highway trips. You can use it on freeways and even four- or six-lane roads. If you set your cruise control at or below the speed limit, you can maintain a steady speed and make each tank of gas last longer. Then you get the benefits of both #1 and #2.
- Nix the idling. Did you know that if your car sits still with the engine running for 20 or 30 seconds, it uses as much gas as it would if you turned off the ignition and restarted the car? Utilize this strategy in rush hour traffic, at a long traffic light, or in line at the drive-through window or ATM. It’ll extend your time between fill-ups.
- Think light. The heavier a vehicle is, the more gas it takes to make it from point A to point B. So clear out all of the junk in your trunk, back seat, or truck bed. It’s probably starting to stink anyway.
- Blow up your tires. If the bottom of your tire looks like it has a flabby belly, then it doesn’t have enough air in it. Keep your tires filled to the manufacturer’s recommended pressure. Get in the habit of checking the pressure every time you fill up your tank. Properly inflated tires help to maximize gas mileage.
- Tune up your vehicle. Yes, it means spending an hour or two at the repair shop or car dealership. But it’ll be worth it. An improperly tuned vehicle can cost you an additional 12 to 15 cents a gallon (based on current gas prices). Do you really want to just throw that money away? That’s what casinos are for.