The recent Alabama oil pipeline leak is a good reason to conserve a little bit. Though, every day is a good day to save money. Some of the tips you'll find on this page are so easy you might wonder why you've never tried them. If you're not ready for a hybrid or electric car, consider these options. Be frugal, drivers.
1. Plan Your Day
Can you make your day work with one round trip? If so, do it. Going back and forth from here to there can easily account for an unneccessary 20% or 30% of your fuel costs. Try to plan your route, as well. Keep your mileage to a minimum. This may be difficult to get used to but you will save a lot of money once you get the hang of it.
Do you have a co-worker who lives nearby? Why not ask if you can carpool with him or her, alternating drivers and vehicles each week or each day? This could save you, not surprisingly, about 50%. You could also consider riding the bus or the train. In times when gas is really expensive, they might be better options than driving.
3. Avoid Traffic
Sitting still in traffic is a waste of energy unless your vehicle is equipped with auto-start/stop. If yours isn't, try to avoid getting stuck. Get to work before the rush. Check the news to find out where the bottlenecks are and, when in doubt, get directions from Google Maps or another navigation tool that takes traffic into account. When you're not moving, turn your car off.
4. Don't Use the A/C
This might not be feasible in the middle of the summer. Nonetheless, turning the A/C off will help you get better gas mileage no matter when you do it. There's a catch to this, however. Vehicles are less aerodynamic when their windows are open, especially when they're travelling at high speeds. Thus, rolling the windows down can cancel out your gas savings from turning the A/C off. Consider leaving your windows slightly open or buying a fan to use inside your vehicle.
5. Don't "Warm Up the Car" for Long
Only older vehicles with carburetors need to warm up for more than 30 seconds, according to Popular Mechanics. If your car is more than 20 years old, you might benefit from warming it up for several minutes. For others, warming for more than a half a minute can even damage the vehicle. Your car's heating will warm faster if you get going. So, warming the car's cabin isn't much of an excuse.
6. Drive More Slowly
Highway miles are more efficient than city miles, in most cases. However, moving really quickly on the highway is less efficient than moving at around 55 miles per hour. If you go 70 a lot, consider slowing down a little bit to save some gas.
7. Don't Brake and Accelerate so Much
Accelerating quickly and braking heavily, over and over, isn't efficient. When you notice that you'll have to stop somewhere ahead, just start coasting until it's time to brake or start accelerating again. You'll have to keep an eye on what's happening far up the road. Try to brake less and push the gas less. Do it safely, though.
Ready to buy a more fuel efficient car? Get quotes online and find dealer invoice information for better negotiations.