So I’ve been working on some “financial tips” emails for ThinkCash and decided to focus on ways to improve fuel economy this month. It seems like you can’t turn on the news or pick up the paper without mention of rising gas prices and discussions of fuel economy. So here are a few gas saving tips:
- Drive the speed limit. Gas mileage decreases rapidly at speeds above 60 mph. Driving at 70 mph is like spending an extra 40 cents per gallon on gas!
- Remove excess weight. Avoid keeping unnecessary items in your vehicle. An extra 100 pounds in your vehicle can reduce your MPG by up to 2%.
- Avoid excessive idling. An idling car gets 0 MPG! So the more time your vehicle is idling, the worse your gas mileage. Turn your car off when you know you will be stopped for long periods of time.
- Keep your tires properly inflated. You can improve gas mileage by about 3% by keeping your tires inflated to the correct pressure.
- Use cruise control. Using cruise control at highway speeds can improve your gas mileage significantly. Edmunds.com conducted a test test using a Land Rover LR3 and a Ford Mustang, the Land Rover got almost 14 percent better mileage using cruise control set at 70 miles per hour rather than cruising at driver-controlled speeds between 65 and 75 miles per hour. The Mustang got 4.5 percent better mileage.
Some people have taken improved fuel economy to the next level and essentially made it their hobby. Hypermilers make lots of little changes in their driving habits in order to get big improvements in fuel economy. Two great sites for hypermiling tips are Hypermiling.com and Ecomodder.com.
It’s hard to believe that as recently as 2004 gas was around $1.50/gallon and today it is over $4/gallon. Doesn’t seem like the price of gas is going down anytime soon, so these tips will only help to save you even more money as the price of gas increases.