I have recently become startlingly aware of the price of gas. Back in July, I pulled a Beverly Hillbillies maneuver and packed my two kids, husband, and sixty pounds of canine anxiety into a big SUV and moved from North Carolina to California. (You can read more about that adventure here.) GM loaned me a Buick Enclave for that journey as part of its Buick Bucket List campaign. That car has lots of technology, including charging ports, video monitors, hot and cold seat warmers, and a slick nav system. It had enough room so the dog could take the third row and each teen had a video monitor. But it was thirsty. And gas sure is pricey. Every time we filled up, it was like going shopping for shoes — without the fun (or shoes).
We weren’t born-and-raised in the country, Clampett-style. In fact, Northern California is a return home. But now that we are here, driving our own car and paying for our own gas, I long for those North Carolina prices. We also didn’t drive much there. (Our lifestyle was very bike-able.) Our gas budget was not a concern. Here, we drive everywhere, gas costs way more, and…ouch! I am doing everything possible to minimize the expense but…ouch!
So I was grateful when the folks at GasBuddy (an app I use frequently to ensure I’m not sucking hind-tit on price) offered me some tips for stretching my petrol-budget even further.
These tips came to me nicely formatted and neatly written. So I thought I’d share them with you. And here they are.
Avoid High Speeds
As your speed increases, your aerodynamic drag increases in an exponential fashion. Driving 62 mph (100 km/h) vs 75 mph (120 km/h) will reduce fuel consumption by about 15%.
Don’t Accelerate or Brake Hard
By anticipating the traffic and applying slow steady acceleration and braking, fuel economy may increase by as much as 20%.
Keep Tires Properly Inflated
Keep tire air pressure at the level recommended by your vehicle manufacturer. A single tire under inflated by 2 PSI, increases fuel consumption by 1%.
Keep Windows Closed
Windows open, especially at highway speeds, increase drag and result in decreased fuel economy of up to 10%. This shouldn’t be a problem since it will probably be pretty chilly.
Service Vehicle Regularly
Proper maintenance avoids poor fuel economy related to dirty air filters, old spark plugs or low fluid levels.
Use Cruise Control
Maintaining a constant speed over long distances often saves gas.
Avoid Heavy Loads
Remove the sand bags from your trunk in the spring and pack lightly for long trips.
Avoid Long Idles
If you anticipate being stopped for more than 1 minute, shut off the car. Restarting the car uses less fuel than letting it idle for this time.
Purchase a Fuel Efficient Vehicle
When buying a new vehicle examine the vehicle’s rated fuel efficiency. Usually choosing a small vehicle with a manual transmission will provide you with great fuel economy.
Buy the cheapest gas
GasBuddy is the tool use to local all the gas stations around you, and their real-time listed price.
Not familiar with GasBuddy? You need it. Here is a video that explains it.