Braking Properly Can Save on Gas!

Most drivers realize that an automobile uses the most gas when it accelerates. This most basic law of physics, that force equals mass times acceleration, also means that your car requires a lot less gasoline to keep moving forward than it does to get up to speed.

The reason is because inherent inertia, or your car’s forward motion, reduces the amount of gasoline that your car’s engine needs to push it forward. It also means that, if you want to improve your mileage, one of the things that you need to learn how to do is use your brakes as little as possible, especially in moderate to heavy traffic.

Here’s a great example; when a person is stuck in heavy traffic and, instead of controlling their speed with their accelerator pad only they have to control it with both their accelerator and their brakes, they end up using a lot more gas because they lose their car’s forward inertia and have to use more gas in order to get back up to speed.

These are the people that you see in traffic that speed up and then use their brakes, then they speed up again and hit the brakes again, doing this over and over while they sit in traffic and not only waste time but also waste a lot more of their precious gasoline.

This of course also poses a problem for the cars following directly behind this automobile, who must also brake unnecessarily in order to avoid causing an accident. In very heavy but still moving traffic over 90% of automobiles do this and, even though it’s relatively easy to hold a speed without stepping on the brake, they use them anyway and with them more gasoline.

The fact is that by simply keeping a little bit more distance between their car and the car in front of them these drivers would be able to use their accelerator only in order to keep their speed at a steady pace, even if it’s a slow pace, and keep their car’s inertia working for them.

This means not only paying attention to the car directly ahead of them but also to the cars ahead of that one so that, if necessary, they can anticipate when traffic is going to slow down and thus ease off of the gas instead of hitting the brakes.

What it all boils down to is simply this; every time you have to speed up you use more gas. It only makes sense that if your car is already moving forward, and you don’t have to slow it down constantly, you won’t have to speed back up constantly either and less you’ll save gasoline and money.

In fact, most experts say that if you can learn to do this and drive more efficiently you can save between 10 and 20% on gasoline cost, something that in this day of $4. a gallon gasoline is no small amount of savings.

Need more Fuel Efficiency from your Prius? Track your route

Okay, we get it. Your Toyota Prius is already an excellent car with mileage so high that it puts every solo gas using car to absolute shame.  But what’s that?  You say you want even better mileage from your Prius, so that you can use even less gas because you can run on your car’s battery for a longer amount of time?  Well then, you’re in luck, because researchers have just figured out a way to make your gas sipping car even more efficient.

The way they’ve done is to let you track the route that you take to work.

The solution that the Prius has right now is that, when you’re battery runs out of power, the Prius starts using your gas supply. It works, but it isn’t the best use of power by any means.

Now however a system has been developed by Chalmers University of Technology and professor Viktor Larsson that will analyze the daily route that you use to go to work, including any detours to places that you go to regularly (Starbucks anyone?), and once it knows your route will then determine the best way to get the most life out of your battery.

For example, when you’re on the highway your Prius may switch to gasoline as it’s more efficient, saving the stored power in your battery to use when you’re in stop and go traffic closer to the office.

It’s not going to save you a huge amount of money on gasoline by any means, but Prof. Larsson predicts that it could reduce the energy consumption of your Prius by up to 10% and, since the technology behind most hybrid cars is relatively the same, the new device will be able to work on most of them. It simply needs to be able to set up a communication between your car’s battery and engine via the computer in order to do it.

Similar technology has already been developed by Prof. Larsson for the Volvo V60 Plug-in Hybrid, where testing and simulations have already been carried out. Tests have also been done to see if using a smart phone, in place of the computer server that powers the cars management system, could be an option.

In any case, look for the new technology to arrive sometime in the next few months and help your already ultra-mileage hybrid vehicle to get even more miles out of a gallon of gas and its bank of batteries.

Spend Less at the Pump with these Gas saving Tips

Summers coming and, whether you’re planning to head out on the open road and do some exploring or just want to cut down on expenses, there are a number of excellent ways to do it at the gas pumps. Read below and we’ll gladly share them with you! Enjoy.

The 1st is simply to not wait until you’re so low on gas that you have to use whatever gas station is nearest. In most cases you’ll be stuck paying whatever crazy price that the station charges which, depending on where you live, could be from 5 to 15% higher! Your best bet is to simply get into the habit of putting gas into the tank when you’re about a quarter full, giving you the option of going to a station with the lowest prices.

Another great tip is to use your smartphone to map out your route ahead of time. For example, Waze is an app that will tell you about road closures, travel delays and real-time accident reports so that, wherever you happen to be going, you don’t waste time and gas sitting in traffic. There are other apps to do the same thing too so, if you have one of the latest smartphones, download 1 of them and save yourself some time, money and gasoline.

Sticking to your car’s maintenance schedule is extremely important not only to save gas but also to save on car repairs as well. Your car’s performance, especially the engine of course, will determine how much gas you use and how much money you spend. Things like your tires, your oil and your coolant should all be checked regularly by a qualified mechanic to keep your car in excellent running condition and keep your gas expenditure as low as possible.

If you’re the type of person that pays off your credit cards at the end of every month, using a gas card that will let you earn rewards points and even get you free gas is a great idea. Remember however that, if you don’t pay those cards off in full, the interest that you pay could negate any savings that you might gain,  so if you don’t pay them in full, you probably shouldn’t use them.

On longer trips, and even just around town, your best bet is to keep the roof of your car unloaded.  Incredibly, hauling cargo around on your roof  can actually cost you over $.60 per gallon so, if you have to haul something around, try doing it with a trailer or by hanging it off of the back of your car instead of the roof.

Finally, we mentioned earlier that using your smart phone to map out your route ahead of time is a good idea, and using that same smart phone to download a gas app and use it to find the cheapest gas station is also a great idea. One of the best is called GasBuddy and, since it’s updated by users in real time all day long, it can easily show you where the closest local gas station is in your town with the cheapest gas prices.

So there you go, a slew of gas saving tips that you can use all summer long to save time, energy and money every time you had over to the gas station. Happy travels!

Idling is the Worst Possible Way to Waste Gasoline

Every single day in America millions of drivers are wasting precious and costly gasoline because of one bad habit that they all share; idling their cars while they sit in line waiting for their children to get out of school.

In practically every blog  about saving gasoline and lowering gasoline costs that we’ve posted here on this website in the last couple of years, one of the examples that we’ve always given for saving gas is to not let your car run for more than a few seconds in idle while it’s parked.

The reason why is one of the most basic tenets of saving gas; when a car is idling, its MPG is negative. In other words, since your car isn’t moving forward, but you’re still burning gas, your MPG goes below zero.

Granted, the amount of gasoline wasted if a car sits idling for one or two minutes is minimal. The fact is however that, in front of elementary, middle and high schools everywhere in the United States, millions of parents spend upwards of 15, 20 and 25 minutes, 5 days a week, waiting for their children to be let out of school. Sometimes it’s even longer and, in most cases, their cars run in idle the entire time.

Now, some may argue that in the winter it’s necessary to leave the car running for its heater because it’s frigid cold outside. I’ll grant you that this makes a little bit of sense but it’s basically the same argument that’s used in spring and summer, especially in the South, when it’s too hot outside and the air-conditioning needs to be kept running.

When you take into consideration the amount of gasoline that’s being wasted five days a week and over 40 weeks a year, and the amount of pollutants that are being released into the air while these automobiles basically go nowhere, the resultant waste  and pollution being caused is simply astronomical.

If you think that this is overdramatic or exaggerated, please allow me to slip into the first person narrative here for just a moment.

As a father of two high school aged children, and a parent who’s moved a number of times for work, I’ve driven my kids to over a dozen different schools in four different states and have seen the same exact thing at every single one of them.

Some of those schools were in the northeast and some were in the southeast but, in front of every one, the majority of people sitting in line and waiting for their kids to be let out for the day were doing it while their car’s engine was running in idle.

Lest you think I’m an incredible hypocrite, I can honestly say that my habit has always been to find a spot somewhere near the school that my children were attending and park there until it was possible to move through the car line without stopping. (I can also say that, until recently, this caused more than a bit of “embarrassment” and frustration for my kids, who never quite  understood why their dad couldn’t just “be normal” and wait in line like everyone else.)

I’m a fan of hypermiling, I work from home and I basically follow every single money saving gas tip that has ever been featured here on this blog site. For me, to see this kind of waste on a daily basis is extremely frustrating, especially on a day like today when, here in the city of Atlanta, there’s an “orange alert” for air quality

So, if you’re a parent who drops-off and picks-up their kids from school every day, I’d like to ask you to consider the fact that you’re not only wasting money but also a precious resource that some scientists say will be depleted within the next 50 years. (That would be gasoline.) I’d also like to ask you to think about how idling your car for 15 to 20 minutes a day is adding to a pollution problem that those same scientists say are causing catastrophic global climate changes.

The fact is, it’s not just about saving a few bucks anymore, it’s about saving the planet.

I’ll get down off of my soapbox now. Thanks for listening

The Top Worst Tickets to get for your Car Insurance Rates

Receiving a traffic ticket is, for most people, a humiliating experience but also can be quite disastrous financially. Besides a big fine the fact is that most tickets (besides simple misdemeanors) will increase a person’s car insurance rates significantly.

For example, in many states a single moving violation can raise someone’s premiums by nearly 93% and, with more serious offenses come bigger increases.

Someone who has an accident or two and gets a ticket for some of the worst types of violations might even find that car insurance companies will refuse to offer them insurance.

What violations are the worst? Keep reading to find out.

At the top of the list is a citation for driving under the influence or DUI. According to InsuranceQuotes.com, a DUI ticket will nearly double most people’s insurance premiums.

Next is Reckless driving, an offense that guarantees a hefty hike of anyone’s insurance rates. It varies from state to state but can bring stiff fines and even jail time. Keep in mind that at least one state has categorized texting while driving as reckless, Virginia.

Next on the list is Careless driving which, although it’s often confused with reckless driving, is actually a lesser violation. It means that you’ve unintentionally been risky behind the wheel and, while it won’t be as bad as Reckless driving, it can still can cause your rates to increase almost 30%.

Speeding tickets, especially more than one, can cause your insurance rates to go skyward and, if you get enough of them, can cause it to get canceled as well. In most cases insurers will overlook one speeding ticket if it’s less than 10 mph over the limit, but some won’t and almost all will increase your rates if you have multiple violations.

One of the reasons if that, by NHTSA estimates, 10,000 lives are claimed each year by crashes caused by speeding.

Other ticket-able offenses like running a red light or stop sign, turning right on red without stopping and other “failure to stop” offenses can mean an increase in insurance rates as well. These types of violations actually  caused nearly 700 deaths in 2012.

Without a doubt the best way to make sure that your insurance premiums aren’t increased by traffic violations and tickets is to drive safely, drive the speed limit and obey all traffic laws at all times. It’s actually not all that hard to do if you think about it and, in the long run, will save you a lot of grief and an awful lot of money.

Gas Saving Myths Exposed

Summer is coming up fast and with it gas prices will be increasing, as they seem to do every year.   In order to help you, our dear readers, keep as much of your hard earned money in your wallets and purses this summer, we’ve put together a list of some of the biggest myths about gas saving to take a look at which ones work and which ones don’t. Enjoy.

The first is about the best way to actually save on gas. Many people will offer their own opinion but, in test after test, the best way that’s always been found to decrease gas consumption is simply to slow down. Studies show that, among most cars including hybrids, the change from 55 mph to 65 will reduce fuel economy by 4 to 8 MPG. If you go from 55 mph to 75 it’s like switching from driving a compact car to driving a large SUV the increase is so bad.

How about carrying stuff on the roof of your car? Does that wind drag really bring down your fuel economy that much? In fact, yes. Tests show that even something like an empty bike rack can decrease the cars mileage by 5 miles per gallon and adding to bikes to the top decreases mileage by nearly30%!

Many people will say that if you want to save gas you need to use your car’s AC sparingly. While it’s true that using the AC  will decrease your mileage somewhat, the fact is that it’s only between 1 and 4 mpg,  not really enough to warrant turning it off if it’s blazing hot outside.

One question that many drivers have is how long they can keep driving once the “low fuel” warning light starts blinking. The fact is that there’s really no set rule and it differs from car to car. The average car has between 1 and 2 gallons of gas left in the tank when the light starts blinking, about enough to travel 40 miles. If you’re far from a gas station when your fuel light starts blinking, the best that is to slow down and maintain a steady speed.

As for whether a new air filter can increase fuel economy, it’s been found in numerous tests that it won’t. In most tests it increases acceleration and performance, but not MPG.

Finally, many people wonder if running their car when the tank is nearly empty is bad for the engine.  In fact, it’s really not. In most cars the fuel pump is pulling gas from the bottom of the tank already, even if it’s full. Fuel filters at the tank and closer to the engine also take out any junk or gunk that might affect it.

We hope these myths that we’ve just busted have opened your eyes to what you can do and not do to save extra money this summer on gas. As always, remember that one of the best ways to save gas is simply to not use your car at all. With warm winter approaching, walking or using your bicycle is definitely an option.

Routine Vehicle Maintenance Will Help with Gas Consumption

Many drivers don’t realize how much extra fuel an automobile that’s out of tune actually uses, something that wastes millions of dollars of gas every single day. The fact is, keeping your car properly tuned and running smoothly can increase gas mileage by nearly 5%.

Even better, fixing a serious maintenance problem like a clogged gas filter can actually improve your mileage by nearly 40%, something that will save you an awful lot of money at the pumps when you consider that gas is slowly creeping back towards four dollars a gallon across the United States.

You’ve probably heard how keeping your tires properly inflated is a great way to reduce gas consumption and, if you haven’t, you probably haven’t been driving for very long. Keeping your tires properly inflated to their correct pressure (found on the driver’s side door jamb or in the owner’s manual) can improve your mileage by nearly 4% and, conversely, decrease your mileage by nearly 1% for every one psi drop in air pressure. Not only that but tires that are properly inflated will last longer and give you a safer ride.

Another surefire way to increase gas mileage by 1% to 3% is to use the grade of motor oil that your car manufacturer recommends. For example, if your car was designed to use 5W-30 motor oil and instead you use 10W-30 oil, you can actually lower your gas mileage by over 2%. Your automobile mechanic can help you with this but, if you change your oil yourself, look for the words “energy conserving” on the label as well as the API performance symbol.

One thing of note for most car owners is that, while replacing a clogged air filter will improve the performance of most cars made in the last 15 to 20 years, it won’t improve your car’s mpg.

On today’s newer fuel injected vehicles with computer-controlled engines, which includes most cars manufactured from the 1980s up until the present day, replacing a clogged air filter will most likely improve your cars performance and acceleration but won’t do much to improve its fuel economy. This goes for diesel engines as well.

A number of other simple ways to increase your mileage is to take anything not necessary out of your car, especially if it’s heavy, take off any roof racks that you’re not using on a daily basis, and make sure that you combine a few short trips into one longer trip. Once your car is warmed up it will perform better and use less gas and thus getting a few things done at once instead of doing several tasks separately during the day will save you gasoline and money.

 

Is Gas Really More Expensive on the Weekend?

We’ve certainly had our fill of blogs about gasoline prices, gas saving devices and methods of increasing your MPG. Today’s quick little blog article is about gas prices and, more specifically, the question of whether gas is more expensive on the weekend or not.

Many people around the country complain that gas stations seem to increase their prices on the weekends but the fact is that, more often than not, gas prices are actually higher during the week.

The statistics gleaned by GasBuddy.com, a crowd-sourced gas price aggregator, actually showed that, during a four-year period, Friday, Saturday and Sunday were the days when gas prices were the lowest. GasBuddy performed an exhaustive amount of research in all 50 states find out what days of the week gas was cheapest and, although prices fluctuated during that time period, their results still were a bit of a surprise for many people.

“I think that was the biggest surprise,” said Patrick DeHaan, a senior petroleum analyst.  He added that “What I can surmise is that the markets aren’t open, so because oil and gas futures and spot prices aren’t trading on the weekend, stations are more likely to become competitive.”

The fact is, gas station owners realize that people have more time to comparison shop on the weekends, something that encourages them to be more competitive when it comes to their prices. Most consumers also do a bit more driving on the weekends than they do during their typical Monday to Friday routine and station owners are keen on taking advantage of the additional revenue that comes their way.

A few of the more interesting results from the analysis performed by GasBuddy showed that, in some Western states including Utah, Wyoming, North Dakota and South Dakota, gas tended to be cheaper towards the middle of the week. Kansas is similar but, in Indiana, Iowa and Kentucky, Monday is usually the best day to fill up because gas prices are cheapest there on that day.

If you live in Delaware and Maryland, your best bet is on Thursday as GasBuddy showed that to be the least expensive day at most gas stations there.

Truth be told, finding the cheapest gas no matter where you live can be a little bit difficult because they change quite frequently. That’s why it’s a good idea to use the GasBuddy app in order to see where the cheapest price is every day in your city or town.

Just for the record, this blog was not sponsored in any way by GasBuddy.  It’s just that, when it comes to finding the cheapest gas prices available, we think it’s the best app the market.

Save Money on Gas as You Fill Up Your Tank

Saving money on gas is not all about changing your driving style or choosing the right vehicle. People sometimes overlook one area where they can find ways to save on gas, and that is while they have their tank filled. Read on and learn some useful tips to save money while you are at the gas station.

Compare Prices

Just like any purchases you make, you should also compare the prices between different gas stations. Their prices may not be too much apart from each other, but every cent really counts, especially if you usually travel long distances and thus have to gas up quite considerably. To get the latest on their prices, you can listen to the news or better yet download some apps on your phone or tablet that will show you nearby stations and their current gas prices.

Find Stations That Offer Great Deals

There are establishments, such as grocery stores and malls, which have gas stations in their vicinity operated by them. They usually offer memberships to patrons that include lower gas prices in their list of benefits. You may consider paying for this membership if you think that the savings that you will generate can cover for the membership fee and more. Aside from this, also check out coupons that offer great discounts on some gas stations.

Get the Right Credit Card

If you often use your credit card when you gas up, then try getting a card that offers rebates at certain gas stations. Just figure out which bank offers that reward for the gas station that you prefer. Rebates can be as much as 3%, which is good enough savings on gas.

Gas Up Early in the Morning

Gas is denser on cold temperatures then it starts to expand once the temperature increases. Therefore, when you gas up in the middle of a hot summer day, a gallon of gas may not be as much as a gallon of gas bought early in the morning when the temperature is low. Many people argue with this, saying that storage tanks under the ground are kept cold anyway so you can gas up anytime you want and get the same dense volume of gas. However, as the gas travels from the storage tank to the pump, its temperature can actually rise and cause the gas to expand.

Gas Up on Low Mode

The gas nozzle has three modes. Most people use the high mode because they want to fill their tanks quickly. However, this full pressure can cause the gas to vaporize and since most gas hoses have a vapor return, that vaporized gas in your tank may be sucked back in. In other words, the pump may have registered 2 gallons, but that may not exactly be the volume that your tank received.

With the rising costs of fuel, it is best that you have all areas covered in your goal to save on gas money. Therefore, aside from keeping your vehicles properly maintained and knowing when to break, try the tips that are listed here too to further increase your savings.

It’s All About the Money!

This is a very interesting Infographic that explains exactly why we need money! Money is the lifeblood of our economy, and the circular flow of it is important to keep it thriving. Make sure to read through the infographic thoroughly, it’s a good resource for anyone who needs to understand how money works and how we value it. I must say the guys at BuddyLoans have developed an infographic that will be remembered for a long time. For even more interesting content please check out the BuddyLoans website.

Lets Talk About Money and Why We Value It

courtesy of BuddyLoans.com

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