When the price of gas keeps going up, fuel purchases can really eat into your monthly budget. You may not be able to do anything about the price of fuel, but you can learn ways to conserve so you get more out of each gallon. The following tips will help you save money at the pump:
- Use the recommended type of fuel for your car. For most cars, the recommended gasoline is regular octane.
- Use the right kind of oil for your car. You may be able to increase fuel economy by one to two percent by using the proper motor oil. Check in the owner's manual.
- Make sure your tires are properly inflated. Properly inflated tires can increase fuel economy by three percent or more.
- Comparison shop for gas prices. Several websites can help you locate the best prices in your area. Many military installations sell gasoline, so be sure to check the prices there.
- Avoid frequent speeding and braking. These lower your gas mileage by thirty-three percent at highway speeds and five percent at lower speeds. You can improve your fuel economy by maintaining a steady speed.
- Avoid idling. Idling wastes fuel. Experts recommend that if you're going to be stopped for longer than ten seconds, unless you're in traffic, turn off your engine.
- Stay within the speed limit. Gas mileage decreases sharply at higher speeds. Every five miles per hour you drive over 60 is equivalent to paying an extra 24 cents per gallon for gas.
- Get regular tune-ups. A poorly tuned engine uses more gas.
- Look for discounts. Some gas stations offer coupons that you can use for discounts on gas. You might find these coupons online, in the mail or with grocery store receipts.
- Travel light. Remove unnecessary items from your trunk or roof rack, especially heavy ones. A loaded roof rack can reduce your fuel economy by five percent.
- Choose the most fuel-efficient vehicle you can afford if you are purchasing a new or used vehicle.
- Combine short trips and errands. Several short trips taken from a cold start can use twice as much fuel as one trip covering the same distance when the engine is warm.
- Carpool or use public transportation. Carpooling and sharing rides to work saves money on gas and general wear and tear on your vehicle.
As an economical consumer, you should get what you pay for. If you have experienced an unresolved issue with a company about a financial product or service, submit a complaint on the Consumer Complaint Database at the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau.