You know you should carpool and take public transportation—it’s just not always practical. But if you have to drive, there are ways you can save gas, money, and the environment.
Step 1: Slow down Slow down. Traveling at 55 mph gives you up to 21 percent better gas mileage as compared to driving at 65 mph. Plus, since traffic lights are timed for the lower speed, you’ll decrease your odds of having to stop—another gas waster.
Step 2: Get your car checked Get regular tune-ups, and pay special attention to your air filters. Dirty ones diminish airflow, which wastes gas.
Step 3: Avoid idling Avoid idling, which takes up more gas than stopping and restarting the engine. Turn your car off when you’re waiting for someone, and go into fast-food places instead of using the drive-through.
TIP: Don’t bother warming up your car in the winter; it’s not necessary with today’s vehicles.
Step 4: Don’t put the pedal to the metal Go easy on both gas and brakes. Anytime you do a jackrabbit start or a quick stop it decreases your gas mileage.
Step 5: Clean out your car Weight also decreases gas mileage, so clean out your car of any unnecessary items.
TIP: Instead of transporting things on a roof rack, put them in the trunk or car to reduce drag.
Step 6: Stick to paved roads Stick to paved roads; dirt and gravel can reduce gas mileage by as much as 30 percent.
Step 7: Buy a hybrid Invest in a hybrid. Not only do they give you immediate savings at the pump, they may even earn you a tax break.
FACT: Statistically, gas prices tend to be cheapest on Wednesdays.