You’d be surprised at how much you can really save by doing the smallest of things.
The list of these things goes on and on, with some tips actually being myths. It all depends on the credibility of the source. Recently, ConsumerReports.org provided some tips that wanted to share.
- Choices. If you have a smart phone, there is an array of applications you can download that will tell you the prices of nearby gas stations. One of the best ones by far is GasBuddy. It’s free and easy. When it’s time for a fill-up, there’s no reason in the world you shouldn’t spare the single minute it takes to find your options.
- Pass on premium gas. If your car is designed to run on regular gasoline, as most vehicles are, don’t waste your money on premium unless it’s “required”. It won’t make your engine run any better, and the only real difference you’re likely to see is about 20 cents more per gallon. To find out if your car needs top-grade gas, check the owner’s manual, or fuel-filler door. If premium is “recommended,” then it is optional. Peak, at-the-limit performance may decrease, but it is not likely to be noticeable to the typical driver.
- Reduce drag. Don’t add to your car’s aerodynamic drag by carrying things on top of the roof or hanging off the back of your vehicle if you don’t have to. When ConsumerReports installed a large car-top carrier on a Toyota Camry, gas mileage dropped by a notable 6 mpg when we drove at 65 mph. Ski season is over; take off the unused rack. And even though kayak season is in full swing, remove the carrier when not in use.
- Tire inflation. This one has been said time and time again and in ConsumerReports’ tests, they found that fuel economy is reduced when tires are not inflated to where they should be. Check your tires’ pressure and top off as needed when they’re cold (before the vehicle has been driven or after no more than a couple of miles of driving). Use the inflation pressure recommended by the vehicle’s manufacturer, not the maximum pressure embossed on the tire’s sidewall. The recommended pressure is usually found on a placard on a front door jamb, in the glove compartment, or in the owner’s manual.
- Check your route. With GPS systems, it is now even easier to track traffic and choose alternative routes, but keep in mind that traveling at a consistent speed without many stops or traffic lights is best for fuel economy. Some GPS devices, including recent Garmins, have an “Eco” function to factor fuel consumption into its route plans.
- No idling. There is no need to warm up your car or keep it running while waiting for passengers. The general rule-of-thumb is to turn off your car if you know you’ll be stopped for more than 30 seconds. Don’t worry about the starter, it is designed for multiple, repeated starts.
Give these fuel saving tips a try, every little bit helps.
Bob Bell Chevrolet of Bel Air
1230 Belair Road
Bel Air, MD 21014