Financial Advisor

Save Money on Gas – Getting More Miles to the Gallon


But I Can’t Afford to Drive to Work!

Gasoline prices are soaring through the roof and I don’t even want to begin to think about the cost of heating my home with oil this winter. (On that subject, it just might be cheaper to move south!)

Anyway, so many of us have been trying to find ways to get more miles to the gallon. I wish I had the magic answer, but I do not. There are many gimmicks and alternative ways to save on gas mileage on the internet. Which work and which do not work would take some major research, but just to get you started here are a few items that have become increasingly popular via the search engines.

save on gas

There are hydrogen operated cars that run on water, there are fuel chips that increase your gas mileage, there are hybrids that run on electricity and there is even talk about building cars that run on solar energy. Basically, there is a lot out there to think about, but what about the tips that we already know that work? How about getting back to the basics of saving gas and increasing your gas mileage? Here are some suggestions to help improve your gas mileage without the cost of rebuilding an engine or buying a new car.

  1. Avoid single purpose trips. Plan ahead the shortest route to do all errands. The less driving back and forth the more you will save on gas.
  2. Cruise as much as possible. Coasting uses less gas.
  3. Maintain a highway speed of about 55% to increase your gas mileage by up to 20%. According to http://fueleconomy.gov you decrease your gas mileage by up to 10% for EACH increment of 5 miles over the speed of 60.
  4. Gently ease onto the gas peddle. My driving instructor always taught us to pretend there was a raw egg under the gas peddle. Reduce jerky starts and stops to increase your miles to the gallon.
  5. Reduce air conditioning use. Try to open the windows around town as much as possible. If you need the a/c, turn it down as low (warm) as you can go to increase your gas mileage.
  6. Cruise control is a great way to reduce your gas consumption BUT if the highway is hilly it will actually use more gas. Cruise control uses more gasoline going up hill and uses more brake going down hill.
  7. Keeping your car well tuned can improve your gas mileage by up to 4%.
  8. Clean air filters increase your gas mileage by up to 10% and be sure that your tires are kept at the correct air pressure.
  9. Use the proper grade of motor oil and change the oil when recommended. My brother-in-law who is a top mechanic for General Motors states that this is one of the best things you can do to keep your car running smoothly.
  10. Make sure your gas cap in on tight to reduce the amount of gasoline that evaporates.
  11. Try not to idle for long periods of time. If there is a long line at the back drive through or at a fast food place, turn off the engine. The same goes if you are stopped in dead traffic.
  12. Another way to improve your gas mileage is to make right turns. According to UPS spokesperson Donna Barrett, “Left turns waste time and energy.”
  13. Clean out your car and remove any unnecessary added weight. (Sorry, you can not remove undesired relatives!) Removing excess weight gets you more miles to the gallon.
  14. Fill up your tank during the coolest part of the day. Condensed gas takes up less room and gets your more gas to the gallon.
  15. Car pool.
  16. Take public transportation.
  17. The most definitive way to save money on gas and increase your gas mileage is simply not to drive!

Since implementing several of the above tips on how to improve your gas mileage, I have personally been saving a lot on gas. The most effective ways have been by cruising more and slowing down on the highway. The funny thing about reducing your highway speed to increase your gas mileage is that I did not feel that it took so much longer to get to where I was going! The best thing was I increased my gas mileage and saved a lot of money!