How to Save Gas by Driving Smart

Gas saving tipsSaving gas by driving might seem like a contradiction, but how you drive can affect the amount of gas you use. There are many simple things you can do that will reduce the amount of gasoline your car uses, which in turn will save you money.

1. Do not allow your car to warm up for longer than forty-five seconds, even on the coldest days. Cars are designed to be driven almost immediately. More than thirty seconds of idling simply wastes fuel.

2. Check that the automatic choke is disengaged after engine warm up. If the choke gets stuck, it will result in a bad gas/air mixture.

3. Don’t “rev” your engine, especially before you are about to turn off the engine or if the engine is cold. Revving wastes fuel, stresses the engine, lowers oil pressure, and wares out cylinders.

4. Take your foot off the gas completely for a few seconds before you shut off the engine.

5. Accelerate slowly from dead stops. Pushing the pedal down one-forth of the total foot travel will allow the carburetor to function at peak efficiency. More than that will send gas through the system that will not be used. You will gain as much speed if you start slowly than if you punched the accelerator, but use less gas.

6. Stop by slowing down gradually rather than slamming on the brake. Taking your foot off the accelerator as soon as you see you need to stop will allow the car to slow down under its own compression rather than using gas to get there.

7. Don’t speed. Once your car exceeds 40 mph it has to overcome tremendous wind resistance. Driving at 55 mph will raise your car’s fuel economy by seven to eleven percent when compared to driving at 65 mph and seventeen to twenty-one percent when compared to driving 75 mph. Imagine your car gets 22 mpg when you drive 75 mph. By lowering your speed to 55 mph, you could raise this to 27 mpg.

8. Drive at a steady pace and avoid jiggling the accelerator, especially in the city. Stoplights are usually timed for motorists who are driving at the speed limit. Keeping that steady pace will increase your chances of hitting the green lights and avoid unnecessary stopping and idling.

9. Use cruse control whenever possible. It will help you maintain a constant speed and boost your car’s average gas mileage.

10. Avoid tailgating. Tailgating is not only safe but it increases the likelihood of you having to slow down suddenly, which decreases your car’s fuel economy. Any aggressive driving that causes speeding, rapid acceleration or hard breaking can lower your gas mileage by up to thirty-three percent on the highway and five percent in the city.

11. Drive straight and keep your steering wheel still. The more you car has to go back and forth, the further it has to drive, and the more gas it will use.


12. Only use your air conditioner when necessary. Using your car’s air conditioner takes about eight horsepower and can reduce your fuel economy by up to twenty percent. Rolling down the windows is more economic when driving for short distances, at low speeds, or in stop and go traffic. Do not flip on your car’s air conditioner the minute you jump into your hot car. Clear out the hot air by rolling down your windows for a few minutes beforehand. Also, consider investing in a window shade that will help keep your car’s interior cooler.

13. Keep your windows closed when driving on the highway, which can cause air drag and reduce your car’s fuel economy by ten percent. On the highway, it is more economic to use the air conditioner to cool your car than to open the windows.

14. Accelerate before you reach a hill instead of when you are on it. Accelerating on the hill uses more fuel.

15. Avoid driving on rough roads, such as dirt or gravel, because they can reduce your car’s fuel economy by up to thirty percent.

16. If you are stopping for more than a minute, turn off your car. It takes less gas to start the engine than it does to idle longer than that.

17. When driving an automatic transmission, shift your car into neutral when your car is idling for a long time, such as at a railroad crossing or traffic light. Shifting into neutral allows your transmission to cool and reduces strain.

18. Park your car in the shade or in the garage. Keeping your car cooler will help reduce evaporative emissions and will keep your car’s interior cooler.

19. Park your car so that you are not required to do a bunch of reverse maneuvers, which consume gas.

20. Avoid resting your left foot on the pedals when you are driving. Even the slightest pressure will put a mechanical drag on the components and wear them down. It also increases your car’s fuel usage. The best strategy is to use only your right foot for driving and avoid accidentally riding the brake.

21. Shift your car into high gear when traveling at fast rates. Traveling at faster rates while in low gear will use up to forty-five percent more fuel than higher gears.

22. Use overdrive gears, which reduces your car’s engine speed, saves gas, and reduces engine wear.

Using these simple tips will help you reduce the amount of gas you are using, which will give you more money to use when you arrive at your destination.

By Darcy Logan

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