With increasing fuel prices and a rising cost of living generally, it pays to know a few tricks to cut the cost of driving. Of course, it would be nice if all parents could replace their gas guzzling vehicles with newer, eco-friendly models, but this is not financially realistic for many. The following ideas are simple ways for drivers to use less gas. Not only will this help the environment, but it could also keep the family budget balanced as well
Many times, saving gas is only a matter of thinking through the situation before jumping into the nearest vehicle and turning the key. The following questions should always be considered first:
Is this an errand that can be done by walking or riding a bike?
Have I checked the map for the shortest route or should I choose the route with fewer stops and traffic signals along the way?
How many errands can I accomplish along this same route?
Is it possible to carpool with a friend who is going the same direction?
Can banking and bill paying be done online to prevent an unnecessary journey?
As a vehicle ages, owners sometimes fail to properly maintain those systems that will add to the car’s efficiency. By paying special attention to certain features on the vehicle, it is sometimes possible to reduce fuel consumption by 10 to 20 percent. The following should become a routine part of vehicle maintenance:
Check the manufacturer’s recommendations for tire pressure and keep the tires close to this range by testing frequently.
Remove any objects on the outside of the vehicle, such as luggage or bike racks, that stop the air flow and are aerodynamically inefficient.
Use the correct oil grade for the vehicle to increase fuel efficiency by 1 to 2 percent.
Unless fuel is a great bargain, wait until the tank is almost empty before filling up because transporting the weight in a full tank requires more fuel.
Believe it or not, our driving techniques can have a greater impact on the environment than other factors. Try to incorporate these great habits on each trip:
Start and stop gradually, like a snail.
Set the cruise control when driving on the open highway.
To decrease the wear on the engine and conserve fuel, use the overdrive on vehicles equipped with it.
Turn the car engine off if waiting on someone for longer than 20 seconds.
Use the fan to re-circulate cooling air instead of using the air conditioner.
It is not always practical for families to use public transport, walk or cycle. In many situations a car is essential. However, by adopting some thrifty driving habits, it’s possible to make each gallon of gas go further. Every little helps, and these conscientious actions may soon lead to savings that will ease the family finances.
[author] [author_info]About the Author
Guest writer Jane Simpson enjoys finding new ways to reduce her spending. She recently used an auto loan calculator before buying her new car, and she does her best to follow the tips in this post to cut the cost of driving.