We're all aware that gas prices are at a record high. But, since there's nothing most of us can do about the price of gas, there are some things we can do about how much gas we use. Here are a few ideas:
1) Check your tire pressure regularly. Underinflated tires cause the car to burn more gas.
2) Keep your engine well-tuned. An out of tune engine wastes gas and again your gas mileage could be up to 25% worse than it should be.
3) Use cash. Some gas stations charge more if you pay with a credit card or banks charge fees when you pay with your ATM card.
4) Obey the speed limit. The faster you go, your gas mileage drops dramatically. i.e. going 70 mph requires up to 30% more gas than going 50 mph. My husband proved this while resetting his mileage gage in his diesel truck (he's a contractor). He went 75 mph and got 15 mpg, then he went to 65 mph and got 22 mpg. What a difference
5) Ease up on the accelerator and brakes. It's better to maintain a constant speed than it is to speed up just to pass the idiot in the other lane.
6) Use air conditioning smartly. When going fast, keeping the windows open decreases the aerodynamics of your car which increases the wind drag...then the engine has to work harder and uses more gas. When going slow - it doesn't matter as much, so it's cheaper to turn the A/C off and let the wind cool you. Oh and think about turning off the air conditioner 5 minutes before you reach your destination - you should still be cool.
7) Plan your route better. Especially on caravan day...use a GPS or online map service.
8) Rent a smaller car. When you go on vacation or a business trip is it really necessary to have a big gas guzzler? Don't you remember how it was BEFORE the big SUVs were created?
9) Use your car less. Did you know that here in Pasadena, the metro rail usage is up 19%. If I need to go into downtown Los Angeles, I always use the metro rail. No stress, and no $10 parking fees either! Oh and don't forget to carpool (especially on caravan days). Also, if you bring your lunch from home with you, you save money by not eating at the restaurant and by not using your car to drive there or sitting at the drive thru.
A little bit of pre-planning for the week ahead can reduce the number of times you have to use your car. Sorry, Mom, but, when I take you to the doctor you'll have to be a bit patient if I make stops on the way home!