Wow, pulling up to that pump has been painful this month, hasn’t it? Gas prices are not likely to drop anytime soon given the chaos in the Middle East. But no matter what brand or model you’re driving, there are some things you can do to stretch your gas budget.
First, get the lowest price possible at the pump. Check out GasBuddy. Just enter your zip code and it tells you where to find the best prices around! Next, help your car or truck get its best mileage out of each oh-so-expensive gallon of gas these days. Here are some tips from Hoffman’s Service technicians:
Buy the right gas and motor oil: use only what your car’s manufacturer recommends for your make and model of vehicle. While most luxury and performance cars call for higher octane premium gas (it prevents “knocking” in the engine), cars that use regular grade gas will not get any better mileage out of using higher octane – this is an urban myth. A solid truth, however: oil treated with friction reducing additives can improve fuel economy by more than 10%.
Stay on Track
Get another 10% mileage savings from having your engine tuned regularly, and replacing air filters frequently. Stick to your regular maintenance schedule and don’t let this important item slide. Really do change your oil every 3,000 miles, and check that air filter every time you do.
Don’t Get Deflated
Check your tire pressure regularly, and remember to keep tires inflated properly. When tires are under-inflated, they have more resistance from the pavement working against your mileage goals.
We hate to admit it to ourselves, but driving the speed limit matters in more ways than one! Driving 55mph improves mileage by 25% over driving at 75. Want to save 10 cents a gallon? Observe the speed limit, and use your cruise control on the highway.
Lighten that Lead Foot
Don’t over-accelerate or brake hard. And try not to be tempted by accelerating while climbing hills – that really eats away at your mileage.
Ditch Junk in the Trunk
And on the roof. Got extra stuff in the trunk, or lying in the back seat? Left that Thule roof rack on, even though vacation’s over? Accessories like luggage racks lower aerodynamics, so take them off as soon as you’re done using them. And the weight from last season’s sporting goods and that box you’ve been meaning to drop in mom’s attic? They seem like no big deal, but carrying extra weight in your trunk or back seat will impact your mileage. Clean it out and save a bit more at the pump!
Keep Windows Closed
Hard to believe, but true: open windows reduce mileage even more than using the A/C!