With the price of gasoline up over 40% since the beginning of the year, many people are trying to find new ways to save money at the pump.
While many of these ideas are useful and worth the extra effort – i.e. adjusting your commuting time, cleaning out your car’s trunk, turning off your car at long stop lights – many driving habits that people think will help them saveÂ gas or moneyÂ are actually causing them to waste both.
So on that note, here are the top four ways people think they’re saving money and/or gas when they’re actually not:
- Driving across town to save a nickel on a gallon of gas. With gas prices at record highs, many people are doing everything they can to reduce the amount of money they spend at the pump. One of the more popular ways people are doing this is by using sites like Gasbuddy.com to find the cheapest gas stations in their zip code. Unfortunately, many of these same people are driving long distances to save a couple of pennies on a gallon of gas – meaning they’re probably burning up the amount of money they save by using extra gas to go to an out of the way station.
- Driving on the highway with their windows down to avoid using the air conditioner. We’ve become accustomed to thinking that our car’s AC is the biggest drain on our car’s gas mileage. While using it will reduce your gas mileage, there are many instances where using your AC instead of rolling down the windows will actually be better for your car’s gas mileage. One of the biggest drains on your car’s gas mileage is aerodynamic drag – something that is exacerbated by rolling down the windows. If you’re going to drive on the highway, go ahead and turn on your AC and keep the windows up!
- Driving with their truck’s tailgate down. Many people believe that driving with their truck’s tailgate down will improve gas mileage. Unfortunately, the opposite is actually true. When a truck’s tailgate is up, a “protective air bubble” will form in the bed area which actually makes the truck a little more aerodynamic; when the tailgate is down, this bubble disappears and gas mileage gets worse.
- Accelerating extremely slowly. Many people think that the slower they accelerate, the better gas mileage they’re going to get. Unfortunately, extremely slow acceleration can bog down your engine and make it run less efficiently – thus wasting fuel. So, instead of slamming the accelerator to the floor or barely even touching it, try and find a nice happy medium so you can achieve a moderate acceleration.
So, if you’ve been doing the aforementioned items, I certainly can’t fault you for trying to save gas and money, however, there’s a reason why you haven’t seen much of a savings – these ideas just don’t work.