5 Hacks to Save Money on Gas & Conserve Your Car’s FuelMoney The List
As temperatures rise, so do gas prices – just in time for those long summer road trips. So if you've gotta pay more, try using less. We spoke with automotive expert Shahe Koulloukian who showed a few ways to use less gas and save more money.
1. Don't Play Frogger
For starters, when driving long distance in heavy traffic, don't play frogger. Stick to a lane and pick the right one. “If you're going long distance, look at where the eighteen-wheeler is,” shares Shahe. That’s because these drivers are talking to someone up to 15 miles ahead who are giving them guidance on the flow of traffic, and which lanes are best. Shahe recommends following their lead to conserve fuel. “By the time you go from one lane to another, in and out, and you stop – you're gonna really effect your fuel by at least three percent.”
2. Your Halves Aren't Equal
Next up – know your halves aren't equal, at least not in your tank. For example: from full to middle, you might get two-hundred miles. And then from middle to empty, you’ll get eight miles. This is not your imagination! It's because your fuel pump resides inside your gas tank. “The fuel is filled to the top,” explains Shahe. “That is what keeps the pump cool. When you get down to a half a tank, half of that pump is exposed now to nothing but air. So it gets hot, and works twice as hard. That's why the old saying is, when you get to a half a tank, fill it up. Don't wait to the fumes.” Say no to fumes!
3. Beware of Idle Time
Third, beware of idle time hiding in your routine. Shahe uses coffee drive-throughs as an example: “Every two minutes that the car sits idling, the vehicle is burning the same amount of fuel as if you've driven one mile. So if we're here […] eight minutes – do the math, divided by two, you've driven what? Four, five miles? And now if you're a coffee lover, and you do that twice a day, five days a week—you're gonna be a quarter tank of gas you're wasting just by idling.” Yikes!
4. Slow Your Fuel Roll
Up next, look at those little notches on the pump handle, and make sure your dispensing the gas slowly. “So there's the slow, [and] there's the fast,” adds Shahe. “If you go full blast, you're getting more air in. Why you gonna pay for air? So put on the slow. You just bring it down, leave it there, take your time.” Slow and steady wins the race!
5. Use Price Comparison Apps
Don’t just use less gas – pay less for it, too! Unless you have literally all the time in the world, you can't keep track of all the changes gas prices go through over the course of a couple of weeks. So get an app that can do it for you! Apps and sites like GasBuddy and FuelFinder crowdsource data on gas prices in your area, and update prices to their most current, helping alert you to the cheapest gas near you at any time. The other great thing about apps like these is if you go on a road trip, you can still see where the cheapest gas is anywhere on your route, keeping more cash in your wallet and keeping you on the road.
Got any gas saving tips you can share? Tell us in the comments below!