Almost everyone has lived through a period of high gas prices and wondered how they could save money in this area. The gas crisis of the 1970s and the extremely high price escalation of 2008 left many people wishing they weren’t so dependent on their vehicles to get to and from work each day. Many Americans accepted that they had either made a wise purchase decision with a smaller, more fuel efficient car or an unwise decision with a giant, gas guzzling SUV. However, no matter what type of car one drives, getting more MPG is possible. Whether you’re shopping for a new car or trying to maintain the one you have, the Federal Trade Commission has some practical advice to help you save fuel.
Saving on fuel
The FTC advises motorists to drive less aggressively
While it’s tempting to step on the gas and speed ahead to the next light, you’re losing up to 5% of your fuel efficiency this way. For increased gas mileage, the FTC recommends anticipating the traffic conditions ahead, easing off the gas when you see stops up ahead and cruising to the lights. Turn off your engine whenever you predict a wait of more than a minute.
According to the FTC, drivers can save fuel by decreasing wind resistance caused by roof racks or bike racks, which can decrease fuel efficiency by 5%. You can save another 2% by emptying out your trunk, the consumer protection agency adds. When you’re running errands around town, they also recommend taking as few trips as possible. Drivers have been able to save 50% of their fuel just by driving around town on a warmed up engine, as opposed to driving the same distance across several trips starting a cold engine.
Consumers may also save fuel by considering alternative fuel vehicles that run off methanol, ethanol, electricity, corn oil, compressed natural gas, liquefied petroleum gas and other mixtures. The FTC says that using these alternative fuels “may reduce harmful pollutants and exhaust emissions,” while also increasing fuel economy. When purchasing these vehicles, you must pay special attention to how many miles per gallon you’ll receive because, in general, these vehicles don’t travel as far on one tank as gasoline-powered vehicles do.
Keep tire inflated
Finally, it’s important to keep your tires inflated, your oil changed every three months, your air filter cleaned and used the manufacturer’s recommended oil and gasoline grades. You can check up on the air pressure of your car’s tires by yourself to make sure that they are inflated properly. Buy an inexpensive manual air pump and check your tires pressure on a weekly basis to ensure that your Fuel conservation actions are not undermined.
When you are in a traffic jam, don’t leave your engine running or else you will waste Gas. Leaving your air conditioner on when you are idling in traffic expends more Fuel than needed. Patience in a traffic hold up can save you loads of Gas and money.