It’s hard to believe it, but spring is already right around the corner. As winter starts to release its icy grip, it gets easier and more tempting to get in your car and head out on an adventure of some sort. Whether it be across town or across the state, the open road calls to us as the weather begins to warm up. As you know, though, with nicer weather comes higher gas prices as well. If your hopes are on saving gas money at the pump but you’d still like to take that road trip you’ve been looking forward to, don’t get discouraged just yet. We’ve compiled a list of ways you can stretch your gas dollars a bit further this year.
Here are 6 Ways You Can Start Saving Gas Money:
1. Maintain Your Vehicle
A poorly performing vehicle is a recipe for fuel efficiency nightmares. Clogged filters, low fluid levels, and older parts can make your engine work harder, which burns more gas. In addition, these problems can lead to serious engine trouble later on, which definitely doesn’t help the budget. The smaller investments towards repairs today will prevent the much larger expenditures down the road.
2. Inflate Your Tires
Did you know that poorly inflated tires will severely hamper your fuel economy? Lower tire pressure not only wears out your tires quicker but can increase friction with the road, which leads to loss of miles-per-gallon (MPG). One tire underinflated by 10 PSI can cost you as much as 5 MPG — and that only increases if other tires are also low. The transition from winter into spring still includes chilly days. Low temperatures can deflate tires more quickly, so routinely check the PSI of all four tires during colder months.
3. Drive Sensibly
Seriously… take your foot off the pedal once in a while! Most cars have a “sweet spot” where they are most efficient. This spot is usually somewhere between 55 and 66 MPH. Going faster than that can hurt your overall fuel efficiency, as the amount of energy required to maintain a constant speed begins to seriously increase the faster you go. And those of you that like to drive slow aren’t off the hook either, as driving too slow can also cause you to waste gas.
4. Coast More
When you see a red light or stopped vehicle in front of you, be smart. Rather than accelerating as long as you can and then stopping on a dime, just coast. You’ll still make it to the light while using less gas in the process. If traveling on a downhill road, remove your foot from the accelerator and let gravity do the work. Chances are that pressing the gas pedal while traveling downhill will cause you to exceed the posted speed limit anyway, so try to lay off of it.
5. Decrease Drag
Friction and drag are the enemies of efficiency. So, the trick is to make your car as frictionless as possible. Rolling up the windows and taking cargo off the roof is a good way to begin. (Side note: It is true that the A/C also uses gas, which makes it tempting to roll down the windows instead. The general rule is to roll down the windows in town, and use the A/C on the highway). Also, decrease drag by cleaning out your trunk. The heavier the car, the less efficient it is for saving gas money.
6. Avoid Highway Gas Stations:
More often than not, gas stations located on long highway stretches charge significantly more for fuel. Whenever possible, avoid these gas price hikes by topping off your tank prior to any extended trips and/or make plans to pull off the highway into a nearby town en route to your destination.
New England may be approaching warmer conditions, but here is one thing to keep in mind for next year or during the random cold front in March. Obviously, the longer that a car runs, the more gas it uses. It may be tempting to warm up your car for an extended period of time until it’s nice and toasty inside, but limit the amount of time you leave your car running whenever plausible. If your vehicle requires more than five minutes to warm up, there’s a good chance that it needs a maintenance check.
And just like that, you’re on the road towards stretching your dollars and getting the most bang for your traveling buck! Ultimately, the absolute best thing you can do for saving gas money is consistently monitoring and maintaining all facets of your automobile.
Northeast Insurance loves saving folks money on not only insurance products, but also with helpful every day hacks like the list we’ve compiled above. For more insurance related information, up-to-date local and national news and more ways to keep your wallet full, check us out on Facebook!