As you may have noticed, the average price of regular gas has reached a record high in 2022. And unfortunately, expert forecasts suggest they won’t be bottoming out anytime soon.
Budget expert Andrea Voroch told HuffPost, “With gas prices rising at a rapid pace, it’s important not only to shop around for the lowest gas prices, but also how you drive and other auto maintenance to ensure fuel efficiency.” Pay attention too.”
In fact, there are ways you can improve your car’s fuel economy on an individual level. Below, Voroch and other experts give advice on making gas tanks last longer.
Watch your speed.
“Try to follow the speed limit, and you’ll save a lot on fuel,” Gerdes said, coining the term “hypermilling.” Driving 5 or 10 miles over the speed limit may get you to your destination a little faster, but you’ll waste that saved time and pay more money going to the pump to refuel sooner.
He recommends breaking out of the mindset that you need to run where you’re going or simply give yourself more time to drive to avoid the temptation of speed.
“Fuel economy on most cars runs at about 50 mph, then drops as the speed increases,” said AAA public relations manager Ellen Edmonds. “Reducing highway speed by 5-10 mph could increase fuel savings by up to 14%.”
Use cruise control to keep your speed even while you’re driving on the highway.
Don’t drive when you don’t need to.
“As far as saving fuel is concerned, the motto to live by is ‘Don’t drive when you don’t have a drive and drive smart when you do,'” said Wayne Gerdes, founder of CleanMPG.com. “Only about half of our miles are actually getting back and forth to work. The other half are optional.”
In addition to combining errands to cut down on car trips, he suggests walking more often or taking public transportation if you live in a place where that’s an option.
“The best way to cut gas expenses is to drive less, which you can easily accomplish with other parents by setting up a carpool from work and school or sports practice,” Voroch said. “You can also find ride shares using sites like ridesharing.com.”
A little advance planning can go a long way when it comes to gas usage.
“Map your route before you leave to reduce unnecessary turnaround and backtracking,” Edmonds said. “Avoid peak traffic times. Combine tasks and go to ‘one-stop shops’ where you can do multiple things like banking, shopping etc.”
Avoid excessive laziness.
It’s tempting to keep your car running when you’re not driving, especially in winter. But Edmonds advises not to do it when you’re not in motion.
“A car engine consumes a quarter to a half gallon of fuel per hour at idle, but it takes only 10 seconds of fuel to restart a hot engine,” Edmonds said. “Where it is safe to do so, turn off your engine if you are stopped for more than a minute.”
Stay away from traffic whenever possible.
Edmonds recommends taking advantage of flexible working hours to avoid commuting during busy times. Even if you can’t control the timing of your commute, look for other ways to stay out of busy traffic.
“Use the ‘Fast Pass’ or ‘Express’ toll lane,” she suggests. “Avoiding unnecessary stops or decelerations on the highway helps save fuel.”
“The best way to cut gas expenses is to drive less.”
– Andrea Voroch, budget expert
Keep up with tire inflation and other maintenance.
“Make sure your tires are properly inflated, which provides maximum fuel efficiency so you don’t waste any gas,” Voroch said.
Keeping your car in shape with properly inflated tires and regular inspections is especially important to avoid high costs later.
Pay attention to acceleration and deceleration.
“Be mindful of how you accelerate and take it easy on the gas pedal,” Voroch advised. “Accelerating too fast will spoil your gas.”
Gerdes notes that driving smoothly and having an easy tread on acceleration and deceleration is also better for your tires.
“When you accelerate and push hard, it works through your tires, but if you’re gentle with your car, your tires are going to last longer and you can get better mileage ratings.” are,” he said.
Pay attention to the traffic ahead and try to maintain speed when approaching a stoplight to avoid unnecessary stops and turns.
“You want to keep your vehicle running,” Gerdes said. “When you see a stoplight, let your car slow down slowly. Don’t feel like you need to run to a stoplight and then brake right there. There’s no prize money for getting there first.”
Use recirculation in hot weather.
As the temperature starts to rise again, it’s worth paying attention to your A/C usage to maximize fuel efficiency.
“When air conditioners are set to re-circulate interior air, cars are generally more fuel efficient,” the Wall Street Journal said. “That’s because keeping the same air cool takes less energy than constantly cooling the hot air from outside. Of course, turning off the air conditioner saves even more fuel.”
So if you’re driving in hot weather and using the AC, consider hitting that air-recirculation button.
Stop taking premium gas.
If you can fill up your car with premium or regular gas, Edmonds recommends visiting regularly.
“If regular gas is recommended for your vehicle, that’s all you need,” she said. “Opting for premium when your car is no longer needed will only cost you money and not improve fuel savings.”
Shop to save on gas.
“Gas prices fluctuate daily, but you can track the cheapest price per gallon in your area using an app like GasBuddy, which is especially helpful if you’re in an unfamiliar area or on a road trip. But driving,” said Voroch. “If you have a membership to a warehouse club like Costco, refuel at their gas stations for the lowest price per gallon, but go early in the morning or late at night to avoid long lines.”
The AAA mobile app and website also includes a gas price finder that helps users find the cheapest option in their area. Voroch also recommends paying cash for gas, as many stations charge a transaction fee for credit cards. Or if you must use a card, consider investing in a gas rebate credit card to maximize cash back on fuel purchases.
Additionally, she suggests purchasing groceries strategically by visiting stores that offer gas savings programs with rewards at the pump.
“For example, Kroger store loyalty programs offer 1 Fuel Point for every $1 you spend on groceries, which can be redeemed for savings at Kroger gas stations or Shell stations,” she explained. . “Shop & Stop offers similar savings through its GO Rewards program, which gives you 1 point for every $1 spent, which you earn from $4 by gallon at store brand gas stations and participating Shell gas stations. Can be redeemed up to 1.50.