April 29th 2011

11 ways to save gas

Maybe you’ve noticed, but gas prices have gone up a little. (Just a little… Right?)

And if you drive daily, your wallet might be taking a bit of a hit, too.

If commuting is not an option, here are our top eleven ways to make the most of what the situation, while still effectively getting from A to B.

Ditch Driving Aggressively

To save the most money, simply stop any sort of aggressive driving. This can help lower gas mileage by up to 33 per cent at highway speeds and by 5  per cent driving around town. What’s aggressive driving? Think of two things: gradual acceleration and gentle braking.

Depending on your car, this could create savings of $175 to $1,150 per year for the average two-car household.

Slow Down

Driving just a little slower – for example, moving from about 120 km/h to 90 km/h, will help boost gas mileage. In tests, slowing this 30km increased gas mileage by about 30 per cent in cars, SUVS, trucks and vans of most sizes.

Avoid Idling

Because idling yields zero km/litre, you might as well just stop. A good rule rule of thumb is to turn off your car if you know you won’t be going anywhere for more than about thirty seconds.

Reduce the Load

By losing some weight in your vehicle, you can reduce your gas mileage, too. Minimizing about a hundred pounds can give you about two per cent back.

Keep it on Cruise

Cruise control is a great tool, and it keeps the accelerator pretty steady. Use it on long stretches of land, whether in town or on the highway.

Use a GPS

Nothing wastes gas like getting lost. Use GPS devices or smartphones to help find efficient routes, in single or among multiple destinations. If not, plan a route with Google Maps beforehand.

Look for Discounts

Many gas stations offer discounts promoting gas, especially given the higher prices. Check out which ones offer sales, bonus cards, and other promo items. Many companies (not gas-related) have started to offer gift cards as promos, too.

Carpool

Perhaps the obvious choice, but sharing the car with a few co-workers each day, and taking turns, will lessen the gas costs by a longshot.

Keep It Cool

Regardless of the way you do it, keeping the car cool is better for gas mileage, however windows versus air conditioner doesn’t make a difference.

Inflate those Tires

Tires that are under-inflated increase fuel use by more than three per cent. Inflated tires are also safer, and reduce tire wear and other eventual costs.

Compare Prices

Although it won’t save you money driving from station to station, or going out of your way, you can check out Gas Buddy, a helpful service that searches for a list of gas stations with the lowest prices. Just type in your zip code or state or province, and it gets the job done. There’s an app for that, too. For longer trips, check out GasPriceWatch and MapQuest Gas Prices for a nationwide search.

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Andrew's Biography

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Andrew loves art and design, and pursues his studies in his final year at the Ontario College of Art and Design. He loves seeking out new artists and giving them their dues, and in his spare time, focuses on his own abstract sculpture.