With gas prices at one of the lowest points we’ve seen in years, saving pennies at the pump might not seem as important as it did just a few months ago. However, as summer heats up, gas prices will rise along with the temperature--and by the time Independence Day comes, we’ll be getting burned at the pump as well as at the beach. With that in mind, here are a few simple tricks that will save you money when you fuel up.
Make Sure Tires Are Properly Inflated
It sounds too simple to be true, but keeping your tires inflated to the correct pressure can make a real difference in your gas mileage. According to the Department of Energy and the EPA, properly inflated tires can boost your car’s fuel efficiency by 3.3%. That may not sound like much now, but as gas prices creep back up toward the three-dollar mark, the savings get bigger too.
Make checking your tire pressure a part of your regular maintenance. It’s inexpensive and easy—just buy a cheap tire gauge and check them one a week when you go to the gas station. To find how much air your tires should hold, look at the tires themselves. Along with the size, the tire will have the correct pressure stamped on it; for example, “35 PSI.” Your owner’s manual may also list your proper tire pressure. Keeping your tires at the right pressure is not only good for your gas mileage, it’s good for the tires themselves. Under-inflated tires wear unevenly, and deteriorate much faster.
Change Your Oil Regularly
Another simple gas-saver is to change your oil regularly. While on the surface it may sound silly—after all, your engine oil doesn’t appear to have anything to do with gas—when you break it down it makes sense. Oil acts as a lubricant between the moving parts of your engine. As the oil circulates through the system it picks up impurities, and over the months and miles the impurities build up. The more impurities, the thicker the oil gets; the thicker it gets, the more energy it takes to make things move…and to create more energy, your car has to burn more gas. Check your owner’s manual to see how often you should change your oil—the 3,000-mile rule no longer applies as oil technology has improved.
Use Cruise Control
If you’ve got it, use it—unless you’re driving hilly terrain. Testing by Edmunds.com back when gas prices were at their peak showed that using your cruise control could increase gas mileage by as much as 14%. When gas is $3, that’s a whopping 42 cents per gallon savings. If you’re driving in hilly areas, though, you won’t see any savings; the point of cruise control is to keep your car at a steady speed, including driving uphill.
Use Your Smartphone to Find the Cheapest Gas
There’s nothing more annoying than driving away from the pump, only to find that another station has gas 4 cents cheaper than what you just paid. Apps like Gas Buddy or the appropriately-named Find Cheap Gas Prices Near Me can help you find the cheapest prices in your area.
Drive a Fuel-Efficient Car
If your car is feeling its age, it may be worth it to invest in something newer. Not only will you save on gas with a more fuel-efficient model, you’ll save on maintenance too. Ditch your gas guzzler and sell it to us. Contact Junk Car Cash Out in Salt Lake City, Utah today - we'll pay you top dollar on the spot for your junk car - and we'll tow it away for free!