Top 27 Ways to Save on Gasoline  
By Kerry Hook

1.  Save money by sharing a ride or car pooling
if possible.  Many states have HOV (High
Occupancy Vehicle) lanes that you can use if     
there are two or more people in your car.  This
will save you time and gasoline because the
other lanes get bogged down with traffic.

2.  Plan your trips.  Combine outings whenever
possible.  Make certain that you are taking the
shortest route.

3.  Drop your speed.  A decrease in speed will add
up to savings at the pump.  The best speed is
55 to 60 mph, but even a 5 mile per hour drop
from 70 to 65 will help save you money.

4.  Decrease any time spent just idling the car.  
The engine of a car that is not moving is
getting zero miles to the gallon.  If you
anticipate a wait of more than a minute or so,
turn the car off.  But, if your wait is less than
this, keep the car running.  It costs gasoline to
start a car, so you need to balance the
equation by weighing just how long you may
need to wait against the "cost" of restarting
your engine.

5.  Travel on off-peak hours.  If you can, arrange
with your employer to start work early and
leave before rush hour starts - or start work
later than the rush hour and head home after
the peak traffic has cleared out.  All the time
spent standing still in traffic wastes a lot of
gasoline.

6.  Keep your tire pressure at the correct level for
your tires.  If a tire is low on pressure, it will
ride with more of its surface on the road and
increase friction making the car work harder
(thus burning more gas) to get where you are
going.

7.  Similarly - keep your wheels in proper
alignment.  

8.  Walk or bicycle ride when possible.

9.  Use the public transit.

10.  Drive at a steady rate avoiding quick
accelerations or passing often by darting in and         
out of traffic.  Cruise control may be helpful,
but only if you are on a mostly even journey.  
Too many hills and valleys and you will lose
the benefit because the cruise control is rather
inefficient in managing these changes - fuel
consumption will actually increase!

11.  Do not overfill your gas tank.  Instead stop at
the first indication the tank is full.  Excess
filling after the first automatic shut off can
result in gas seeping out, or spilling.

12.  Empty your vehicle of any junk that you are
carrying around.  An excess of 100 pounds will
cost you about a mile per gallon. Similarly,
streamline the car - don't carry things on the
rooftop carrier unless you have a reason to do
so.

13.  If you have avoided using the self-serve
pumps, it's time to learn how to use them.  It's         
not as hard as you may think.

14.  Shop around for gasoline.  Keep your ears open   
      for deals.  Many T.V or radio stations are
posting the lowest rates for gasoline in your
area.  

15.  Use credit cards that offer discounts on
gasoline.  (Just be certain that you pay the
card off.)

16.  Kroger food stores offer a 3 cent discount to
anyone who is a member.  It is easy to become         
a member and every time you spend $100.00
you will get a 10 cent per gallon discount on
your next fuel purchase within that month.  
Some large discount merchants (e.g., Costco
and Wal-Mart also offer discounts to their
members.)

17.  Keep your car well maintained.  Tune-ups and
regular oil changes will help keep your car
running at maximum efficiency.  One spark plug         
that is not working can cause as much as a       
30% decrease in fuel efficiency.

18.  Avoid using your air conditioning.  This can
increase fuel consumption by as much as 20%.

19.  Check to see if your vehicle is and FFV already.
You may have an FFV (flexible fuel vehicle) and
not be even be aware of it.  This can be done
by looking for a "badge" on the door frame or
looking in the owner's manuals.  FFV means
that you can use an ethanol blend and save
even more on your fuel.

20.  Use the lowest octane that is acceptable for
your car. Check the owners manual.

21.  Tighten the gas cap well to prevent
evaporation.  Broken, damaged and missing
gas caps will cost you at the pumps because
gasoline evaporates very easily.

22.  Park in the shade.  Here again - gasoline
evaporates easily and it is best to try and keep
your car cool by parking in the shade - or your
garage.  In the hot months, you won't spend
as much time idling the car to cool it off, and
in the cold months you won't need to idle the
car as long to warm it up.

23.  Replace the air filter.    You may save roughly
10 percent by keeping your air filter clean.

24.  Use the correct oil for your car.  This can
increase gas mileage by 1 - 2 percent.  Look
for oil that is "oil conserving" and be sure to
use the right type for the season.  This can be
determined from the labels.  Ask for help if you
need it, but different seasons require different
"weights" of oil.  The goal is to reduce the
amount of friction within the engine to help it
perform at its optimum level.

25.  Keep your car clean.  Excess dirt  will cause
increase "drag" (wind resistance) on your car
affecting the aerodynamics and increase fuel
consumption by as much as 7%!

26.  Purchase your gasoline first thing in the            
morning - you will get more for your money
because the gasoline (like all fluids) expands
as it gets warmer during the hotter parts of the         
day.   During the coolest part of the day, it will         
be like you are getting "condensed" gas.

27.  Buy a more fuel efficient car.   Save on your
purchase by clicking on the Enterprise link!

Special thanks to Kelly King, King's Automotive -
Dickson, TN. Certified Master Mechanic for these fuel
saving tips.
The Frugal
Retiree
Thrifty Rent-A-Car System, Inc.