By Madeline Klein on October 30, 2018.
Driving is great. It gets us where we need to go. Plus, it's pretty great to feel the fresh air while you're listening to your favorite song. However, the added expense of gas is a hard pill to swallow. No one likes watching your precious dollars ticking up at the gas station as the gallons go in your car. But, with a little bit of innovative thinking, we can drive smarter for cheaper.
1. Keep your tires properly inflated
Vocabulary time! Rolling resistance is the friction of your tires on the road when you drive. Basically, you want your rolling resistance to be as low as possible. The lower your resistance, the less friction you’ll create, and that means you’ll use less fuel.
One way to help keep your rolling resistance low is by keeping your tire pressure at the psi your car manual suggests. This will help your car use the optimal amount of fuel. Keep in mind tire pressure will drop when the air cools, so be sure to do a quick test on your tires whenever there’s a cold front.
2. Clean your car
The more weight in your car, the more fuel you’ll be using. The moral of the story here is to not keep anything unnecessary in your car. Forget to take your golf clubs out of your car after your weekend trip? Those will weigh you down, so take the extra few minutes to get them out right after you get home. Same goes for strollers, dog kennels, and any other big items you’re regularly driving around. We’ve got some other car cleaning tips here too if you’re in the cleaning mood.
3. Do regular car maintenance
The big-ticket items to pay attention to for your car maintenance are oil changes and fresh air filters. Good, clean oil can increase your fuel economy, and the same goes for regularly replacing your air filter. These regular car check-ups can seem like a burden at the time but can help you save money in the long run. But let’s be real. Keeping up on your car maintenance year-round is always a good idea!
4. Plan when to fill up
Some think you should top off your car’s gas whenever you get the chance. However, when you do this, you’re hauling around extra gas all the time and adding more weight to your car. Wait until you have around a quarter tank of gas to fill up your tank. This way you aren’t wasting gas on regular trips to the gas station, and you can find a good deal before your next fill up.
5. Know when to use the AC
We all love air-conditioning. Especially those of us enduring hot, humid summers. But before blasting the air, think through when and when not to use your AC. If you can bear it and you’re not on the highway, roll those windows down and crank up the music. This can help conserve gas during city driving. Plus, who doesn’t love some fresh air? If you’re hitting the highway though, roll those windows up to help keep your car more aerodynamic and cut down on wind resistance. You’ll save gas and money if you do.
6. Embrace Cruise Control
Cruise control can, and should, be your best friend. It’ll help manage your fuel, so your car is using it more efficiently. You can burn a lot of gas when you’re accelerating often, especially on the highway. This also means you won’t have to brake as much, which will help improve your car’s fuel efficiency and save gas.