Even with recent drops in gas prices, we’re always looking for ways to save on its hefty cost. Did you know you can dramatically improve your gas mileage just by making a few changes to your driving habits? By implementing a few basic changes, you will save money. You will also enjoy safer conditions, lower stress, reduced bills for brake pads and repairs, and more.
Don’t fill tank to the top because gas can spill out and be wasted. If the nozzle is automatic, don’t fill past its first click.
Never exceed legal speed limit. Speed limits are about safety. But they also improve gas efficiency. When compared with old speed limits of 65 – 70 mph, reducing speed to 55 mph improves mileage by about 21 percent. Traveling fast in low gears uses as much as 45 percent more fuel.
Don’t drive with aggression! Lane-jumping, tailgating, changing lanes inches from the car in front of you, speeding, and other maniac moves cost lives and money.
Don’t tailgate. Can you predict what the driver in front is going to do? It isn’t safe, and it’s not efficient.
Try not to travel rough roads. Gravel and dirt roads, and uneven city streets cut mileage by 30 percent. Compare traveling distances between routes and roads and use alternate ones when possible.
Fill your auto in early morning or late evening, when temperatures are cooler, and fuel content is densest. Since pumps calculate volumes, not densities, you’ll save money this way.
Combine errands in one trip. Walk or bike when you can.
When traveling on the highway, keep windows closed. Open windows and sunroofs reduce mileage by about 10 percent because they contribute to air drag.
Remove vinyl tops and anything that contributes to drag. Close your sunroof. When smooth airflow around your car is interrupted, mileage efficiency sinks.
Get regular tune-ups. Check with your owner’s manual for manufacturer recommendations on maintenance scheduling. Inspect suspension and chassis parts for occasional misalignment. Not only are broken springs, bad shocks, bent wheels and axles unsafe, they create drag, and reduce fuel efficiency.
Be sure and check air filters regularly. Replace them when necessary. Reduced air flow elevates gas waste.
Reduce transmission strain. When your automatic transmission automobile is idling, such as at traffic lights, railroad crossings, draw bridges and delays, allow your transmission to cool down. Do this by putting it in neutral position.
If you’re going to be at a stand-still for more than a minute, turn the engine off.
Travel steadily at the legal speed limit and you’re more likely to experience green light, smooth sailing all the way. Accelerating wastes fuel, so anticipate hills. If you accelerate, do it before you reach the hill, not on it. In tests, use of cruise control improved gas mileage on average of 7 percent and up to 14 percent.
Remove unnecessary items from the trunk and inside your car. Excess weight like tires, books, spare car parts, etc. reduces mileage.
Keep your tires well-inflated to their maximum safe limit. Check manufacturer’s specs for recommendations. Have tire specialists balance your tires periodically.
Consider taking advantage of fuelperks!
fuelperks? It Works!
fuelperks! is an innovative program in cooperation between BP, Uppy’s Convenience Stores, and Ukrop’s Supermarkets. For every $50 shoppers spend at Ukrop’s, they save ten cents per gallon of gas at participating stations. The program is free, and requires no more record-keeping than peeking down at your receipt; Ukrop’s tallies your spending for you. Then, when you gas-up at a participating station, swipe your Ukrop’s card, and savor the perky feeling of saving money. www.Ukrops.com/fuelperks!
Bobby Ukrop says of fuelperks!, “It’s only just begun. It’s been interesting so far. A company in Pittsburgh did it, and then Price Chopper in upstate New York. They suggested that we consider it because gas and food are two things that people have to have. As the prices of gas get higher, and people have to get to work and choose between the two of them, quite frankly, I think people really would choose gas.” Ukrop says his family, who has operated the Richmond grocer-mainstay since 1937, wanted to help people facing such difficult decisions. He is enthusiastic about the possibilities of fuelperks!
“We had a person this weekend who paid thirty eight cents for a 20-gallon fill-up. They saved more than $70 on that fill-up.” He points out that in addition to the daily basic needs, like groceries, party accessories, deli and bakery goods, other essentials like your pharmaceutical co-pay attribute to savings with fuelperks!