Pain at the Pump: Saving money on gas

With gas prices constantly increasing many Americans are now looking for ways save money on gas and improve their gas mileage. Here are some simple tips to saving money at the pump.

First, unload the junk in your trunk:
Decreasing the weight of your vehicle can help improve mileage so removing your golf bag, extra fold up chairs or other items that have made their way into your car but that you don’t actually need on a day to day basis can save big at the pump over time.

Second, be an air head:
Checking your tires to be sure they are inflated to factory specs at each fill up can really help maximize your mileage. Think back to your child hood and the lessons learned riding a bike. Remember how difficult it was riding a bike with a flat or low tire pressure. The same principal applies to your car. Improperly inflated tires cause your engine to work harder which costs you more at the pump.

Third, be a filter fanatic:
Checking to make sure you have a clean air filter can go a long way to helping improving your cars gas mileage. Dirty filters also cause your engine to have to work harder and use more gas. Driving your car with a dirty air filter is like trying to run a city block breathing through a straw. You may be able to do it but you’ll have burnt up all of your energy by the time you make it.

Fourth, keep a cool head:
Studies have shown that aggressive drivers get worse gas mileage than those that stay calm. The reason may be due to the fact that getting good gas mileage depends on making smooth movements. So slamming on the brakes and accelerating at high rates of speed don’t work to your advantage when trying to conserve gas. Instead of hitting the breaks, let your car slow down through engine braking whenever possible. Simply taking your foot off the gas when slowing down and extending out your stopping will save money in gas. Last but not least remember when you take off from a stop light remember that it’s not a race, accelerate at a steady pace but be mindful of your gas pedal position. Keep in mind the more you push the pedal the more gas Is pumped through your engine.

Finally, ditch the clunker:
If you have a large car or SUV consider upgrading to a more cost effective model. Many new and used cars can be found that have been designed to get 30-40 miles per gallon. Let’s say that you drive a car that currently gets 20 miles per gallon and you drive on average 400 miles per week. This adds up to 1600 miles per month which means you need 80 gallons of gas in your current car, at $3.50 per gallon it adds up to cost $280 per month. Switching to a car that gets 40 mpg or better could put $140 of that $280 back in your pocket each month.

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