Whether your daily commute to work (or school) is a few minutes down the road or an hour trek on I-95, we can all use some help saving money at the gas pump. Beside knowing where the cheapest gas prices are in town, below are nine helpful tips to save your cash at the pump. These tips are brought to you by the former Young & Free Alberta Spokester, Larissa Walkiw. You can read her original blog post here.
Keep your car in shape.
A well looked after car is an efficient car. The ideal maintenance schedule for your vehicle can be found in the car manual. Read it and follow it – that way, you'll know exactly what your car needs (and also what it doesn't, so that you're not wasting money on all those 'extra' services!)
Pump it up.
Keeping your tires inflated to the recommended pressure can improve fuel economy by up to 5%.
Slow things down.
Ditch bad habits like speeding, tailgating, and cutting in and out of lanes. Not only are they expensive habits to keep, but they also make you look like an idiot. It's also a good idea to stick to highway speed limits. Going above 60 mph takes a toll on fuel efficiency.
Give me some space!
Try increasing the space cushion between your car and the car in front of you. It will enable you to coast more, brake less and could prevent a fender bender in the case of a sudden stop.
Red light, Green light.
Driving at a steady speed is friendlier on your tank than constantly speeding up and stopping. If you see a red light coming up, take your foot off the gas and coast until you need to apply your brake – there's no point speeding up when you're going to be stopping anyway! And remember: it's a green light, not the Nascar starter flag! Make an effort to accelerate gradually.
Lighten the load.
Ditch any extra baggage you're carrying around in your trunk. Otherwise, you're paying at the pump to chauffeur that pile of fold-out chairs or the box of stuff you picked up at a garage sale last year.
Waste not, Idle not.
If you're waiting in your car (at the drive-thru, waiting for your friend, etc), turn off the engine.
Plan it out.
Small, isolated trips use more gas than one multipurpose trip. Save gas money by consulting your to-do list or by planning your errands before you leave the house.
Spare the air.
At low speeds, rolling the windows down is more efficient than turning on the air conditioner. However, at high speeds, open windows create air resistance (which is inefficient). At speeds over 50 mph, air conditioning is the cost-effective way of keeping you cool.