Unless you live in Siberia and use snowshoes to get around, you’re probably aware that gas prices are at an all-time high. You’re probably also aware that, no matter where you look, there are tips for how to save gas, how to increase your MPG and how to save money at the gas pump.
The big question however is, do these tips and advice really work? Recently the most popular tips were put to the test and the results are below. Take a look at them and you’ll see which ones you should follow and which one you should ignore. Enjoy.
- Aggressive driving versus moderate driving. The results here showed the potential for big savings and basically show that, if you drive more like your grandmother then a testosterone fueled 18-year-old, you’ll save up to 30% on your gasoline costs.
- Driving slower. This one has the potential to save you big bucks as well, although not nearly as much as number 1. By driving between 55 and 65 mph, especially on long trips, you can save upwards of 14% on your gasoline cost.
- Using cruise control on long trips. This is another excellent way to save money and, like driving slower, you can save upwards of 14% but, to be honest, most people will average a savings of about 7% when using cruise control on long trips. Using cruise control is also a great way to make sure that you don’t speed, which will save you quite a bit of money in traffic tickets.
- Using the AC as opposed to keeping the windows open. As much as this one has been touted to be a great way to save money on gas, using the air-conditioning or keeping the windows open generally costs about the same amount of money. If you have air-conditioning in your car and it’s hot outside, you might as well use it because if you don’t you’ll just be hot but you won’t save any money.
- Keeping your tires properly inflated. While it’s important to make sure that you keep your tires inflated at the proper PSI, the fact is that if they’re a little bit over or under the recommended number your gasoline usage is really going to be about the same. The important point here is that, unless you want to purchase expensive tires more often, it’s a good idea to keep your tires properly inflated at all times so that they don’t wear down prematurely.
- Idling your car for long periods of time. This one is a big gasoline, and money, waster and, if you’re going to be stopped for more than 60 seconds, it’s best to turn off your engine. Not only does excessive idling waste a lot of gas but it’s also quite harmful to the environment.
- Regular versus premium gas. This one is actually huge. Unless your car specifically calls for premium gasoline the simple fact is that buying regular is just fine and buying premium is definitely a waste of money. When you consider that the difference between regular and premium is about 30%, the savings if you use regular instead of the ‘good stuff’ can literally amount to thousands of dollars a year.
- Getting rid of excess weight. Tests showed that if your car has 100 pounds or more of stuff in the trunk, you’re going to be decreasing your MPG by 10 to 15%. That’s a big amount and means that, unless you really need that weight set, those bricks or those bags of sand in your car, you definitely should get rid of them. (If it’s wintertime and you live where there’s a lot of snow it’s okay but just make sure to take them out come springtime.)
And there you have it. Some of the biggest tips that you’re going to hear about online, in car magazines and so forth, laid out for you to see with no bias and no BS. If you’ve been using some of these tips and saving money because of it, that’s great news but, if some of them aren’t giving you the boost in mileage that you hoped for, now you know why.