The message screams at us from every sign at every corner gas station-gasoline prices are at an all-time high and there’s no indication that relief is anywhere in site. In fact, many experts are saying it could get worse-much worse-and that’s sending masses of motorists scrambling for ways to cut down on gas consumption.
What are your options when there are so many different crackpot methods online? Just today we saw a television news station advising drivers to fill up their gas tanks in the morning when gas is cooler and more condensed, as a way of getting more for your money. While there is some truth that liquids occupy less volume when they are colder, it’s not going to help you save hundreds of dollars a year on gas.
This outdated advice may have been true once-we don’t know for sure-but we do know that today gas stations store fuel below ground in 30,000-gallon tanks. What this means is that the gas will remain at near a contsant temperature so that daily cycles will not cause it to expand or contract.
We’ve seen all sorts of other bad advice that’s outdated, ill-advised or just outright fraud. Claims that devises which bleed air into the carburetor can dramatically increase gas mileage turn out not to be true when put to the test under closely monitored conditions.
Face it-with a long-term gas crises looming ahead, there are plenty of governmental bodies and even private industries that have good reason to want to help you save on gas. So counting down, here are the top 10 tips that you can use to really help save money on gas and reduce consumption:
10. Keep your tires properly inflated according to the manufacturer’s recommendations. Under inflated tires make the vehicle run less efficiently and waste gas. In fact, it can be estimated that for every 1lb of under inflation, you could be losing up to 5% of your gas mileage.
9. Don’t be an aggressive driver. Jackrabbit starts, tire screeching stops and speeding can lower your gas mileage by 5% on city streets and as much as 33% on highways. Try to look ahead and see where you may need to slow down or stop, this way you can take your foot off the pedal and allow the car to coast and slow naturally.
8. Avoid excessive idling. Idling your engine for 15 minutes wastes one gallon of gas. If you can, time your journeys so that you avoid sitting forever at traffic lights and try and cut the time you need for your car to warm up. In warm weather, driving is actually the most efficient way to warm up a combustion engine. Idling is the worst thing you can do – you get zero miles to the gallon if your car is running but not moving!
7. Slow down. The faster you go, the less efficiently your vehicle uses gas. 55 is the most efficient mph on highways. Go above 60 and your fuel efficiency decreases rapidly.
6. Remove excess weight. If you’re used to driving around with your golf clubs and a chain saw in your trunk, you’re paying a heavy price for it. Removing an extra 100 pounds from your car will increase your fuel efficiency by as much as 2%.