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Budget

How to Save Money on Gas


Gas is one of the most expensive resources in the world. It is the most expensive resource in America. According to Forbes Magazine’s 2019 rankings, gas costs more than milk and bread combined.

And with inflation, gas costs are as high as ever. Millions of people are looking for ways to save money.

It can be very frustrating to spend so much on gas, but you can do things to control your gas costs. If you are wondering how to save money on gas, by following the tips below, you’ll be able to save a substantial amount every time you fill up your gas tank:

Pay attention to the temperature outside

How To Save Money On Gas

If you are interested in understanding how to save money on gas, you should always pay attention to the temperature outside. The hotter it is, the more energy your engine uses to cool down, and vice versa. Therefore, the more heat you generate, the more gas you will use on average.

If it’s colder outside, your car will use less gas because it takes less energy for your engine to reach an optimal temperature range. On the other hand, if it’s warmer outside, you may need to turn up your air conditioning or open some windows so that your vehicle’s interior temperature does not get too hot. This can affect how much gas costs as well.

Check tire inflation

How To Save Money On Gas

Keep tires properly inflated. Under-inflated tires by 10% can reduce the gas economy by 3.3%. Over-inflated tires can increase stopping distances and reduce safety, so check the pressure regularly at least once a month. Ensure that your tires are on the right side of the recommended inflation levels for car models.

Fuel-rewarding credit cards

In addition to cashback cards and rewards cards, some credit cards offer benefits like discounts at the pump and car maintenance. These can be great for people who want to save on gas and take care of their vehicles.

Here are some examples:

  • Gas cards that offer cash back or points for gas purchases—if you drive a lot and fill up often, this might be your best option.
  • Credit cards with a discount at the pump will give you a small percentage off each gallon of gas purchased with your card. You can typically get up to 10% off.
  • Car maintenance credit cards that cover everything from oil changes to tune-ups and more. Many of these also feature 24/7 roadside assistance.
  • Free oil changes—this is an especially great benefit if you don’t want to deal with going through an oil change franchise every 3k miles

Gas up when it’s cooler

You may not know it, but gas is less dense when it is cooler. This means you’ll need to buy more gas to fill your car’s tank on cold days than on warm ones. For example, if the temperature outside is 20 degrees Fahrenheit or -6 Celsius, then 1 gallon of gas contains 8.3 pounds of liquid. However, if it were 40 degrees Fahrenheit outside about 5 C, then 1 gallon would contain only 7 pounds of liquid—that’s 18 percent less.

Change dirty air filters

A clean air filter will improve your gas mileage, so keeping your car’s engine as clean as possible is important. If unsure when to replace the air filter, check the owner’s manual for instructions on how often and where yours should be replaced. Most filters have a lifespan of about 20,000 miles or one year before they need replacing.

Buy a gas-efficient vehicle

Two ways to save money on gas are to buy a more gas-efficient vehicle and drive less. If you want to buy a new car, you should remember that several factors influence its gas efficiency rating. For example, cars with lower curb weights get better mileage than heavy vehicles. This is because the engine needs to work less hard when driving a lighter car and thus uses less gas per mile. This also applies to hybrid models with smaller engines with integrated electric motors; they perform better than traditional cars in stop-and-go traffic because they use electricity instead of gas.

Plan the shortest route

Plan the shortest route. Avoid rush hour traffic and find the most efficient way to get from point A to point B. Use Google Maps or a GPS for directions, or download an app to help you plan your commute. If planning a longer trip, use the shortest distance option when calculating routes on Google Maps.

Avoid idling

Idling wastes gas, money, and time. Idling for more than ten seconds is unnecessary and wasteful – especially if you’re not in traffic or waiting for someone else to arrive. If you have to stop your car, turn off the engine. If you must keep driving while stopped, let’s say, at a railroad crossing, turn off your air conditioning, windows, and lights, and release the parking brake, so the vehicle doesn’t move.

Keep a steady speed

The best way to conserve gas is to keep a steady speed. This is referred to as hypermiling.

This means not accelerating or decelerating too quickly and maintaining the posted speed limit as much as possible. If you’re driving on an interstate highway, cruise control will help you do this. Or pay attention to how much gas you use in different situations. If braking and accelerating are causing your car’s engine idling speed to change drastically more than once per second, then take some time on the open road and practice keeping steady speeds between changes in throttle position.

Minimize AC use in traffic

Use AC sparingly. It’s tempting to crank the AC on a hot day and make yourself cool down. However, cranking up your AC uses more gas. To minimize your use of the AC, use it only when you are stopped or moving slowly and not for sustained periods at higher speeds.

Don’t use your air conditioner unless necessary. Also, avoid rolling down windows or opening other vents, such as sunroofs. The more airflow enters the vehicle, the more gas it will consume, costing more money at the pump.

Use the right octane gas

To save money on gas, you must choose the right octane. The lower the number, the better gas economy you will get. However, high-performance engines require higher octane gas. If your car is a high-performance engine, finding the right gas for it could be tricky. To save money on gas, look at your car’s manual or contact your local mechanic to determine what octane it requires. Then, shop for the best deals on that specific brand or type and fill up frequently.

Learn when to use cruise control

How To Save Money On Gas

When driving on a long, straight stretch of highway, cruise control can be helpful in saving gas.

Pro Tip:

Cruise control works best in dry weather when there are no large potholes or other road hazards.

When traffic is light (but beware of cops), if there’s not much traffic around and it’s clear that no one else will stop or slow down, then driving at a constant speed can help save some gas money. Allowing your car to maintain its momentum instead of stopping and starting again with each change in speed required by stoplights can help you save money on gas big time.

Use loyalty cards

Use loyalty cards. While you’re already getting a discount on gas with every fill-up, there’s a good chance you’re missing out on better deals by not taking advantage of the rewards programs some gas stations offer. Most of these programs are free to join and offer discounts on gas or inside their stores.

Opt for regular gas

You may think you’re doing your car a favor by using premium gas, but that’s only sometimes the case. Suppose you don’t have a high-performance vehicle like a racecar, sports car, or an older model that needs extra care and attention. Using premium gas might be wasting your hard-earned cash. But don’t just take my word for it: The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has reported that regular gas is just as efficient as premium in most modern cars. That means there’s no need to shell out more cash on fancy expensive gas when regular will do just wonders.

Maintain your engine and keep it tuned up.

You can save money on gas by regularly getting your car tuned up. If you don’t do this, it will cost you more money in the long run. Another way to save money is to ensure your tires are correctly inflated and spark plugs are clean. You should also check air filters regularly, as dirty ones can cause gas efficiency problems for your car.

If you want to save even more money than this, consider purchasing a more gas-efficient vehicle next time around, and consider buying one used. Then maintain it well, so it runs smoothly. Also, remember that planning and avoiding excessive idling will help too. In addition, keeping a steady speed while driving will also improve gas mileage.

Takeaway:

Remember these points, and you will save money on gas big time.

  • The outside temperature is an essential factor to consider when you fill up. The hotter it gets, the more gas your car will use and the more money you’ll spend on gas.
  • Keeping your tires properly inflated keeps them from losing grip on slick surfaces like snow or ice. Using them correctly also helps keep gas efficiency high. So check tire pressure before every trip.
  • Using a card with rewards for filling up, like MasterCard or Visa, can be cheaper than paying cash at certain stations in many cases. To find out if this is true where you live, consider signing up for their rewards program and see what kinds of perks they offer.
  • Keep track of your purchases: You can keep track through apps such as GasBuddy or Google Maps’ “Where Am I” feature. This will tell you how much gas costs at nearby stations. Remember, there are also plenty of websites dedicated to helping consumers find low-priced gas. Check those out too.
  • Check tire pressure when tires are “cold,” meaning after driving less than 10 miles since last filling up on gas. This will give you an accurate reading instead of one skewed by fluctuations in external temperatures during those first few moments after getting into your car.

Conclusion

You can understand how to save money on gas by following the tips above. The most important thing is always to be mindful of the price you buy your gas and ensure that it is most necessary for your vehicle’s needs. It is also important that you keep a watchful eye over your car’s maintenance schedule so that it remains in good shape.

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Erin Thompson

Erin Thompson spent years managing her own blog about budgeting and debt. Because of that, she has great insights not only about managing spending and borrowing but also about running websites profitably. When she's not writing articles for us, she's traveling and looking for new types of wines to try.

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The content on Cashblog.com is for informational and educational purposes only. It is not financial advice and we are not certified financial advisors. Cashblog.com strives to keep its information accurate and up to date, but it may differ from actual numbers. We may have financial relationships with companies listed on our site. We may receive compensation for the placement of sponsored products or services. We work hard to write authentic and accurate articles.