In terms of the economy and its effect on our daily lives, there is no hotter topic than the outrageous prices we are seeing at the pumps. The maddening part is as consumers, we have zero control over these inflated costs. To make matters worse, there's always that person who says something like, "You know, Europeans pay a lot more for gas than we do." That's true, but it doesn't make it any easier when we're reaching for our credit cards at the pump. The absolute worst part about high gas prices, however, is the notion of having no alternatives. Even a diligent hybrid owner has to make a trip to the gas station at some point, right?
So, now that you're feeling backed into a corner and completely depressed about the situation, what do you do? The answer is actually a simple one; cut down on the amount of gas you use. I realize it doesn't sound simple, but by changing just a few bad habits, any motorist can stretch a tank of gas no matter what type of car they drive. Here are some tips that are sure to help.
Go Easy on the Pedals - Jackrabbit driving is a killer when it comes to burning fuel. Remember that slow and steady wins the race in more ways than one.
Avoid Long Idles - The bottom line is idling burns more gas than restarting an engine.
No Junk in the Trunk - Clean out your trunk and the rest of your car for that matter. Excess weight bogs down your vehicle, causing it to burn more fuel.
Drive the Speed Limit - The higher the speed, the more gas your car will use.
Go Easy on the A/C - Air conditioning burns gas. Before turning it on, ask yourself if rolling down a window or two might do the trick.
Use Overdrive and Cruise Control - Most automatic transmissions have these features. If you drive a stick, consult your owner's manual about the recommended RPMs when shifting.
Keep Tires Inflated and Aligned - Believe it or not, frequent alignments and keeping your tires inflated to the proper amount will save you gas.
Honor the Scheduled Maintenance - Scheduled maintenance is designed to help your car run as efficiently as possible. Check your owner's manual for specifics.
There you go, eight possible solutions to an otherwise unfixable problem. In addition, you may want to explore the idea of carpooling. Also, walking now and then is an option. Not only will it save you gas - it'll keep you healthy.