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Reduce Gas Costs using Efficient Vehicles
Tips For Reducing Your Gasoline Costs
Last Updated: May 20, 2010
Gasoline costs are always the topic of conversation as we head into the high season for summer travel. According to Auto Club AAA, 5.4% more people will travel this summer season than in 2009 - the first uptrend since 2005. Analysts predict gas prices to be around $3 per gallon this summer and are not expected to go much higher. Can we afford to "feed" our hungry SUVs as we head out for that well-deserved summer vacation? In this article, we explore a number of methods for reducing overall gas costs.
As a consumer, the challenge is twofold; first off, to ensure that the vehicle we have chosen to use is cared for and operated in a manner that is optimum for fuel efficiency. Secondly, that we are able to identify the best deals on our gasoline, without driving across town to get them. That's easy, right? Actually, with the rising costs of fuel driving this need and the assistance of technology, there are some slick and easy ways of finding the "cheapest" gas!
A variety of online tools are available that compare gas prices at different stations in your area. Cellphones now are able to download "apps" that show you where the cheapest gas in town is located. Some websites offer fuel consumption calculators, provide sources of alternative fuels and even provide mass-transit options.
As an example, every night MSN Autos receives pricing data from over 90,000 gas stations across the nation. You just input your zipcode and you can compare prices quickly and easily in your local area. There are a number of other sites that provide the same services, such as www.gasprices.mapquest.com, which offers a fuel calculator that can be a handy tool especially when planning a long road trip.
Another way to save gas costs while on your summer vacation is to "car pool". Do you have extended family members who would like to come along on the trip? Maybe some friends are also interested in seeing Hover Dam. Why not make it more fun and travel together and split the costs?
Here are some tips from the Government website fueleconomy.gov on how to get more miles out of each gallon of gas and keep some dollars in your wallet.
- Drive Slower - gas mileage decreases significantly over 60 mph.
- Replace air filters regularly - a dirty air filter can reduce your mpg up to 10%.
- Try to accelerate more gradually.
- Try to reduce the use of your air conditioning.
- Keep your windows rolled up while driving.
- Keep your tires inflated to the manufacturer's recommended pressure.
- Change your oil regularly and use the recommended viscosity oil.
- Keep your engine tuned - this can affect your mpg up to 4%.
- Remove roof racks or unnecessary items that increase drag on your vehicle.
- Try to plan your excursions more efficiently.
- Assess your route not only on shortest distance but consider traffic congestion and stop lights.
- Carpool when you can.
- Buy a car with manual transmission.
- Shift into neutral when you are standing still to reduce transmission strain and cool off the transmission.
- Remove unnecessary weight from your vehicle.
- Use overdrive and cruise control for highway driving.
- Avoid unnecessary idling - shut the car off if you anticipate more than a minute or two wait.
- Purchase the right octane gasoline for you vehicle.
- Be skeptical about any "gadget" promising to improve your mileage. The EPA has tested more than 100 such devices -- including "mixture enhancers" and fuel line magnets, and concluded that very few provided any benefits.
- Buy a hybrid, alternative fuel vehicle, or simply or one that simply gets better gas mileage.
Gas costs are rising and wallets are shrinking. It is time to be proactive if you are going to survive the gas and energy crunch. Use the strategies that work for you and keep your eyes open for new ideas in order to realize the best savings.
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