And the gas prices, they keep going up and up. The world economies can’t seem to come to any sort of agreement about regulating those prices. Every political tension in oil rich areas is a cause for gas prices to go up at the pump. It seems there is no end in sight. The only thing you can do is to find some awesome ways to save money on gas when you are driving.
It’s because driving is a must in our society. In the big cities, as the prices of housing went up, the affordable housing was found in the suburbs. Moving the family to the suburbs meant more room, but more driving as well. Commuting to work has its costs; the wear and tear on the car, gas prices or the train tickets if you take the train.
The car manufacturers are not in a hurry. In the United States there is a standing order that by 2025, all cars manufactured will have to have a standard of at least 54 mpg. But that is many years and many administrations in the future. So the car manufacturers are looking for different ways to go with the popular demand and the soaring gas prices; they manufacture hybrids.
A recent look at the hybrid vs. traditional car, done by ABC News, shows an amazing fact; 2 cars that look the same, both Hyundai Sonatas, come in hybrid form, which does up to 48 mpg, and a gas car that does 40 mpg. The price of the hybrid is $4,000-5,000 more than the gas car. It will take the average consumer 12 years to make up the difference.
The less gas we’ll buy, the better off we’ll be. With less demand, prices are known to go down. And saving some money on every use of the pump has a tendency to accumulate over time.
Here are 8 awesome ways to save money when you’re driving:
These are simple tricks you can easily adapt to without feeling like a scrooge. Many experts from different parts of the world basically recommend the same things. Do those things for a month and see if it doesn’t change your gas budget.
1. Keep your car in good shape. If you want to save money, your car has to run properly. It means oil changes at the right times, filter changes (the air filter is one of the things that influence gas consumption the most) etc. If a warning light comes on, don’t ignore it.
2. Keep your tires inflated. When President Obama said in the 2008 elections that one of the way to save gas was to keep your tires inflated, his adversaries jumped on the occasion and ridiculed him. “That is the way to save the economy”, they said, “with air…” Turns out Obama was right. A big factor in gas expenditure is the area where the “rubber meets the road”. Maintaining proper tire pressure will ensure less friction with the road, and less gas needed to move it forward.
3. Don’t top off or overfill. When filling the car up, there are a few things you should not do; don’t top it off or overfill. Why are people doing it? It only pollutes the atmosphere and makes the car smell. Make sure to close the cap tightly because gas evaporates. How much should you fill is a question that is still debated. Some say opening and closing the gas cap will make you lose some gas and you waste time with driving more often to the gas station. Others say that filling half a tank and maintaining between half and quarter tank is better because;
4. Lose weight. You want to make your car as light as possible. Half a tank will reduce the weight. For the same reason you shouldn’t carry heavy loads in your trunk unless you need them right away.
5. Reduce drag. If you have a roof-rack and you don’t use it often why not remove it? The more aerodynamic your car is the less gas it’ll need.
6. Plan your errands. Before you set out to take care of a few things, make a driving plan that will save you time and money. Can you park at one location and walk to the next one? It would be good for your health as well, not just your pocketbook.
7. Coast to red lights. If you have a ‘lead foot’ and it is constantly on the gas pedal, you are wasting gas. Think of the law of inertia – objects that are in motion tend to stay in motion. It takes much more gas to move the car forward from a stopped position than speeding up from a rolling position. Look ahead; is there a red light in front of you? Take off your foot from the pedal and coast to the light. It might change by the time you reach it and all you’ll have to do is accelerate lightly. Use the terrain for coasting. If you are going at an incline, don’t push it; let the inertia take its course.
8. Don’t idle unless it’s cold. It used to be that experts said not to turn off your car when you have to wait, because starting it anew will take more gas. That is not true anymore. The newer fuel injected cars don’t take that much more gas. Experts recommend to turn off the car if you have to wait more than 2 minutes with the car idling. You’ll save on gas and we’ll all have less pollution. All that does not apply in cold weather, you’re better off idling than turning the car off and on and waiting for it to warm up.
Whether or not the air-condition plays a part in saving money when you’re driving is still not clear. Some say that the drag you’ll get from opening the windows will cost the same as having an aerodynamic car that uses air-condition. Until that is settled, why not drive without the air conditioning while you’re driving on city streets, and with air-condition when driving of highways and noisy areas?
written by: Ally