Save Gas and Money While Driving Your Car

July 15, 2010 View all articles in Travel

Anytime you use gas, you release more CO 2 into the atmosphere. And although we know this, gas is simply too convenient to stop burning, we use gas for cooking, cars, lawnmowers, and more. Although asking you to give up gas completely is both unreasonable and unrealistic, here are some tips to help you use less gas when on the road.


  • Watch how you drive: Driving sensibly means to slow down and speed up at low constant rates. Accelerating fast enough that you are the first person out of the stoplight may be fun, but it can lower your mileage by 33% on the highway.
  • Drive slower: Mileage takes a steep dive once you begin to pass the 55 mph mark, so try to stay at or under that if you can. This can save you 12% on mileage.
  • Don't idle: If your car will be stopped for more than one minute, turn it off. Not surprisingly, an idling car gets 0 mpg.
  • Use cruise control: As long as you only use it on the highway cruise control can save yourself gas. Stay off the White 
LineRemember, cruise control is illegal within city limits in some states. 
  • Ride the ridge: Riding along the painted white line on the road can increase fuel economy, especially when there is rain on the ground. Remember not to use this when there is a safety issue with another car.
  • Get a Scan-Gauge: This product will give you real-time feedback on how your driving is affecting your mpg. Scan-Gauge is not the only product which does this, but it is likely the most used brand. Although it may not be worth it if you don't drive a lot, having a real-time mileage display will teach you habits that will save you gas every time you drive, and it will soon become instinctual.
  • Keep your car empty: If there are things in the car that don't have to be there, take them out, they are costing you gas and money since your motor is less efficient hauling extra weight. You're probably okay with that box of Kleenex in the back seat but the bags of cement in the trunk should probably come out.
  • Never accelerate when going uphill: This is one of the worst things you can do for mileage. Accelerate before the hill, then keep a constant speed, and coast on the way down.
  • Keep your foot off the brake: Keeping your left foot on the brake creates what is called “mechanical drag”, which both wears down components and well as costing you more fuel. Even if you don't feel like you are applying pressure, it will negatively affect your Potholesmileage. 
  • Avoid rough roads: Rough roads and gravel can cost 30% of your mileage. Smoother roads provide less resistance to your car, each bump and pothole will slow down the car, making it use more gas to keep up to speed. (That said, don't go out of the way to avoid a pothole, your car takes extra gas to swerve around the road, not to mention how dangerous that can be.)
  • Buy gas early in the day: When it is colder the gas is at it's densest and you will get more fuel from the pump for the same price. This may not save the environment, but it does no harm, and will save your wallet some.


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