One of the biggest expenses the average family has to pay for every week is gas. Unless you live in a city with public transportation, using an automobile is absolutely necessary to commute to work, buy groceries and do many other things. While gas prices may rise and fall seemingly at random, there are thankfully ways to consistently save at the pump. Below are four such strategies.
1. Check Your Tire Pressure
According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, you should check your tire pressure once a month. Making sure your tires are properly inflated can increase your gas mileage by as much as 3.3 percent. This can create significant savings rather quickly.
Properly inflated tires are also far safer. Underinflated tires can lead to blow-outs. A blown-out tire can cause the driver to lose control of the vehicle. It’s a common cause of accidents.
2. Keep Your Tank Closer to Full
It may seem illogical. Most people may assume filling up more often may cause them to be less economical in regards to paying for gas. This is not true. What you may not know is that operating your vehicle on or near empty means your car is actually consuming more gas. This is due to the fact that when your tank is less full your car is running less efficiently.
A good rule of thumb is to fill up your car when you have a little less than half a tank. This is also far safer since you will be less likely to run out of gas while on the road.
3. Choose Your Gas Stations Strategically
Not every gas station charges the same for unleaded and premium fuel. One way to save is to try to choose gas stations that are charging less for gas. Many radio stations, websites and smart phone apps track the price of gas in cities and can alert residents of where to find the best deal on fuel.
There are also other factors you should be aware of. Certain states tend to have cheaper gas than others.According to Forbes, Ohio tends to have the cheapest in the country. This can be useful information if you are traveling. Freeway gas stations also tend to charge a premium for gas compared to others.
4. Drive Strategically
How you drive your car is also a big factor in regards to your fuel economy. Avoid idling. It wastes gas. If you need to wait at a fast food drive-through, for example, turn off your car until your food arrives. Also try to take routes that do not require constant stopping and starting. If free of traffic congestion, an interstate highway is likely to result in less fuel consumption than a city street with intersection after intersection.