How to Save Money on Gas!

First, Use Regular Gasoline

Some cars require premium gasoline, but if yours doesn’t, filling up with high-octane gas is usually a waste of money.  Premium gas doesn’t boost your gas mileage or performance. Check your owner’s manual to see what your car requires.  Your mechanic can also tell you what grade to use. You can save hundreds of dollars a year by using regular gasoline over a high octane premium gas if it’s not needed.

Don’t Top Off Your Tank

You shouldn’t top off when filling the gas tank in your car.  Additional gas just slops around or seeps out.  You can stop pumping usually when the automatic nozzle clicks off.

Tighten Up the Gas Cap

If it has a way to escape, gas will evaporate from the gas tank. According to the Council on Car Car, loose, missing and damaged gas caps cause 147 million gallons of gas to evaporate each year. So when you fill up your car be sure to tighten up that gas cap each time.

Park in the Shade

Parking in the sun heats up your entire car, and zaps fuel from your gas tank.  Whenever possible, park your car in the shade of a building or tree. You might want to buy a good windshield shade, too.  A windshield shade blocks the sunlight and helps to keep the inside of your car cooler. 

If You Have a Garage for Your Car, Use It.

Parking your car in your garage will help it stay warm in the winter and cool in the summer, and you won’t have to use your gas-guzzling air-conditioning or defroster as much when you drive.

Keep Your Tires Properly Inflated

Gas mileage can plummet by as much as 15 percent by driving on underinflated tires.  Underinflated tires also wear down more quickly, and reduce the life of your tires by as much as 15 percent as well. 

Check Your Tire Pressure Once a Month

Buy a digital tire pressure gauge and keep it in your glove box.  The recommended tire pressure will be listed in your owner’s manual and on the placard on the side of your car door.  It will also be on the side of your tires as well.  Be sure to check tire pressure when your tires are cold.  You can do this in the morning,  after your car has been idle overnight.

Keep Your Engine Tuned Up

You can boost your gas mileage about 4 percent by getting a tune up, especially if it has failed an emissions test.  You’ll also want to check for worn spark plugs. A misfiring spark plug can reduce a car’s fuel efficiency by as much as 30 percent. Ask your mechanic to check for them.

Replace Your Air Filters

An air filter clogged with dirt, dust and bugs causes your engine to work harder and be less fuel efficient. Replacing a clogged air filter can improve your gas mileage by as much as 10 percent. That’s like saving around 30 cents a gallon.  Have your engine air filter checked each time your oil is changed. The Car Care Council recommends changing your car’s air and oil filters every three months or 3,000 miles or as specified in your owner’s manual.

Use the Right Oil

Using the manufacturer’s recommended grade of motor oil can save another 1 to 2 percent on your gas bill.  Motor oil with the words “energy conserving” on the API (American Petroleum Institute) performance label contains additives to lower friction in your engine.

Don’t Skimp on Maintenance

Cars always perform better when they’re properly maintained.  Your owner’s manual will tell you what maintenance is needed and when. If you have any questions,  ask your auto repair shop to show you what maintenance is recommended for your car and why.  Not only will it improve efficiency, it will also save you money on costly repairs in the long run.