Top 10 Habits that can increase your fuel economy

Okay, we’ve talked about these gasoline/fuel economy habits many times before, but with the cost of gas still over $3.50 a gallon at many pumps around the country, we figured it was time to write about them again. Enjoy.

First, you should definitely drive slower. The simple fact is that as your speed increases, the “drag” on your car or truck increases as well. For example, if you drive 62 miles an hour rather than 75, you can actually reduce the amount of fuel that your car uses by nearly 15% just because of reduced friction.

When it comes to speeding up and slowing down, neither is good to do in excess. Basically what you need to do is anticipate traffic, traffic lights and stop signs in order to accelerate and brake moderately. This can increase your fuel economy by nearly 20%. This in turn helps you to increase the amount of money in your checking account.

Keeping your tires properly inflated is one of the easiest things you can do to save money at the gas pumps. Simply check the level recommended by either your vehicle manufacturer (in the instruction manual) or the company that manufactured the tires that you purchased to replace the original, factory tires. This can help increase your fuel economy from 1% to 3%.

While the jury is still out on whether or not using the AC increases or decreases fuel economy, it’s definitely well known that having your windows open at highway speeds increases drag and decreases your fuel economy upwards of 10%.

If you can avoid long idling times, especially over one minute, you will definitely save money as idling the car for longer than 60 seconds uses more fuel than stopping and then restarting it.

One of the best things you can do to increase your fuel economy is simply to have your car or truck serviced regularly. Things like dirty air filters, low fluid levels and spark plugs that aren’t functioning correctly will get replaced if you maintain your car correctly.

Another great way to save gasoline is to use cruise control.  If you can maintain a constant speed over a long distance, your car or truck will definitely use less gas.

Keeping the amount of junk in your car to the minimum is also a great way to save on fuel. The heavier your car is the more gas it will use,  so make sure to take out anything you might have put in there over the winter to give you better traction and just don’t drive around with a lot of stuff in your car.

Finally, the very biggest and best way to save money is simply to purchase a car or truck that is fuel efficient.

OK, now you’re all set again.  Don’t make us repeat ourselves for a while if you please, and happy motoring.

Top 10 Fuel Saving Tips

For those of you who may have missed it or those that are joining us for the first time here are the Top 10 things that you can do to save fuel when using your car. Some of them will save you a little bit of fuel and some will save you a bit more but if you use them all you’ll definitely save some good money the next time (and the next, and the next) you are at the pump.

1) Keep it under 65 miles per hour on the highway. In fact, if you can set the cruise control on 62 you’ll save 15% over driving 75 and, unless you’re going cross country, the extra time it takes will be minimal.

2) Avoid accelerating fast and also braking hard.  Use your brain instead of your gas and brake pedal. Anticipate stop signs and lights and take it easy off the line.  It’s not a race and, if you’re already late a few minute more aren’t going to make a difference anyway.

3) Check your tires every week to make sure that they are at the correct psi. 1 tire underinflated by only 2% can use 1% more fuel.  It’s small but it adds up.

4) The AC uses about 20% more fuel.  If you don’t really need it use it less, and remember that the ‘defrost’ button in many cars engages the AC too.

5) On the highway keep the windows closed if you can.  Here is the time to use the AC because the extra drag that an open window can cause will use even more energy than the AC itself.

6) Get your car serviced every 3000 miles.  Not just oil but filters but fluid like brake and power steering and spark plugs too. Tire psi too of course, and the best oil for the car you have and time of year is also important.

7) If you have cruise control and you’re on the highway use it. Maintaining a constant speed will save you 3 to 4% in gas.

8) Avoid overloading the car, especially on long trips.  The more weight in the car the lower your gas mileage.

9) Don’t leave your car in idle for more than 30 seconds.  If you’ll be away for longer you’ll save more money shutting the car off than leaving it to run and waste gas.

10) Maybe the most important is to buy a car that gets great mileage.  There are a lot of fuel efficient cars on the road today that are well built, comfortable and have a great sticker price.  Buy one and you’ll save money no question.



Save on Gas, Don’t Drive

Listen, let’s be honest; the best way to save gas money is to not drive your car.  As silly as this may sound there are many people that make 2, 5 and even 10 small trips a day around their town that just aren’t necessary and waste a lot of gas.  You use much more gas driving around town, stopping and starting the entire time, than you do on the highway at a constant speed. So the 1st thing you can do if you want to save gas is use a bike, walk or plan your small trips and make one big trip to the grocery, school, hair salon, post office, doctors office or wherever.

Of course if you live in or close to a major city you can use public transportation, but if there’s no way to get around using a car then you’ll want to purchase one that gets the best mileage.  Below is a list of the Top 5 in that category with the only caveat that these comparisons are based on using gasoline 100% of the time.

The Toyota Prius is the #1 car on the road today for great gas mileage and delivers an average of 50 mils to the gallon.  That’s really good, no doubt, and you can get a late model Prius starting for under $27,000.00 also which makes it a great deal.

The #2 is a perennial favorite, the Honda Civic Hybrid, with an average 44 mpg.  This well-built and easy to maintain sport sedan is worth every penny of its relatively low price of under $25,000.00. The lower price really makes it almost equal to the Prius.

Honda makes the list again with the Insight with 42 mpg and that storied Honda value and reliability. It happens to tie with the Lexus CT 200h but, since the price is about $10,000.00 cheaper, we have to go with the Insight hands down. Of course the Lexus is a bit more luxurious so you’ll have to make up your mind if you want great gas mileage and are willing to pay a 10 grand more for cushy seats.

Toyota makes the list again with their Camry Hybrid and its 41 mpg average.  In our opinion it’s even better than the original Camry and, since it gets about 25% better mileage, it’s worth the price at just under $30,000.00

And there you have the Top 5 cars on the road today as far as gas mileage is concerned.  A great bunch of cars all they will save you many dollars at the pump during their life.

Tips to Get More for Your Gasoline Dollar

Buying gasoline has become quite the costly proposition over the years, and it doesn’t look like it’s getting any simpler any time soon. Because of that, it’s time to re-evaluate your fuel economy and figure out what some of the best ways are to use less gas, and in turn, save some precious money that can be used elsewhere!


Do Your Research

In the market for a new car? Do your research on fuel mileage. Many new cars nowadays have picked up on the trend of high gas prices, and there are models from all shapes and sizes to be fairly gas-friendly and fuel-efficient.


Figure out not only which style car you may be in the market for, but what might be a good fuel mileage for you to strive for when it comes time to buy. This can save a lot of money, time, and a headache at the pump.



Yeah, walk! Maybe not across town, but re-evaluate all of your trips and figure out exactly what and when you could be walking instead of driving. Heading to the post office a mile away from your home? Walking might be easier, and it will certainly save money on gasoline.


Go through all the daily trips you make, and your errand route, and figure out exactly how and where you might do best walking instead of driving your car.


Public Transportation

Public transportation can be a big hassle depending on which city you reside in, but if you take the time to figure out bus routes or subway stops, you can come away a winner. In many cities, public transportation has become seamlessly integrated into life, and everybody can gain some value from it.


So do research in your city, and figure out exactly where you can use public transportation. Even if it’s only once or twice a month for certain trips, those miles add up, and every time using public transportation is a time not spent on gasoline in your precious automobile.


Make Efficient Trips

Re-think how and where you make your trips, and start to plan on doubling up errands and more. Instead of making two trips here and there, or running inefficient errands on opposite sides of town, figure out where you might be able to piggyback these trips, and save some cash on gasoline. It may not be huge, but even a few dollars can make a huge difference!


All in all, it’s up to you and you alone to become more fuel-efficient and travel smarter. Gasoline prices will continue to rise. Instead of acting like they surprise you, be proactive and save some money in the process!


Easy Ways to Save on Gas Money: Part Three

This is part three in my Easy Ways to Save Gas Money series.  I feel this topic is so important that it deserved an entire series devoted to ways on saving money on gasoline.  If households were to check their monthly and annual cost consumption on gas they might be shocked to see just how much it is costing them.

Here is a simple tip that too few people follow, keep your tires filled up with the appropriate level of air.  Believe it or not this can go a long way to saving you money on gas.  Properly inflated tired actually increase the miles per gallon for a vehicle.  Most newer vehicles even have an electronic system that monitors your tire pressure at all times.

I’ve talked in the past about buying a smaller car, or a hybrid, but what about buying something other than a car altogether.  Motorcycles and mopeds are a very efficient means of transportation.  They have small tanks, tend to be lightweight, and they consume a fraction of the gasoline that cars do.  Of course this only makes sense if you live in a warm weather region, and you ignore the forgone safety with these types of vehicles.

Make sure you drive at a consistent speed.  There is nothing new about this type, though many people often ignore it.  Speeding up and slowing down are gas guzzling no-no’s.  Staying at a steady consistent speed with help you maximize the miles per gallon that your vehicle can achieve.  That means that you shouldn’t be tailgating the car in front on you which will only lead to constant braking and speeding up.  Likewise, you needn’t worry about others tailgating you either, let them just pass you by, meanwhile you can maintain your slow and steady speed.

Easy Ways to Save on Gas Money: Part Two

As promised in my previous article I’m back with some more gas saving tips to help you save money!  To me this is a more important topic than most since a majority of us spend a ton of money gasing up our vehicles each and every day.  Just consider that wars are started over oil, gas prices affect the tourism industry, and they especially effect the types of vehicles people purchase.  Think about how quickly the residual values dropped on SUV’s and how important small car manufacturing became after the economic crash in 2009.  So read below for additional ways to save on gas money.

Car maintenance may be one of the most important factors in achieving maximum miles per gallon for your vehicle.  It’s quite simple, keep up with your oil changes, tire rotation, and routine annual maintenance and you will be surprised at how much better and more efficiently your car will drive.  Also, if you live in a cold weather state you need to make sure you winterize your car each year as well.

Discounted gift cards! Yep, that’s what I said, discounted gift cards area a great idea for saving money on gasoline.  I have touted this idea for savings on Christmas shopping in the past, but it actually works quite well for saving on gas as well.  If you go on one of those discount gift card sites you can purchase a discounted card at a fraction of the full price.  Even if you save 5% – 10% off a $100 gift card, that amount can really add up over a year, and unlike most other gift cards, you are guaranteed to get your use out of these.

Eco-friendly vehicles are great, but sometimes a smaller car is just better! If don’t have a large family to cart around then buying a smaller car can not only be less expensive, but the gas to fill them up will cost less as well.  Smaller fuel efficient vehicles can produce huge savings when you tally it up over a year.  The Big 3 have made huge strides over the past three years when it comes to small fuel efficient vehicles, so now you don’t have to compromise style or safety either.

Easy Ways to Save on Gas Money

Saving money on gas isn’t always that easy since we can’t always change the amount of miles we have to drive.  Being a recently married man I’ve started to realize just how much money two people spend on gas each month, and it’s not a small amount.  In fact, it’s one of our large routine expenses, and probably outpaces our monthly food bill.  This is exactly why I want to provide you with some helpful tips on how to save money on gas.

First and foremost, consider the distance you are driving to and from work each day.  I understand that we can’t always change jobs or change homes based on a long commute, but sometimes we can.  There was a time I worked in the city and the drive was quite a pain from where I was living, when my lease ended I cut my commute (and gas bill) in half!  If you have the opportunity to move closer to your work it shouldn’t be an idea that is easily dismissed.

I’m not a big fan of credit cards, but if you can use one properly then they can be a gas savers best friend!  I have a Costco card that provides an additional cash back discount on all gasoline purchases each year. In fact, even though I’m a Costco member I signed on to this card for the gasoline incentive.  They provide 2% back on all of our gas purchases throughout the year.  With as much as spend this could be an added $100 back each year, combined with the other card incentives that isn’t half bad.

Hybrid eco-vehicles are too often dismissed as well.  They are becoming more mainstream and less expensive than they once were.  While I see the future being in battery/solar vehicles I don’t think the technology is quite there, and certainly not affordable enough for the everyday consumer.  However, we recently bought  Jeep that utilizes an eco-friendly engine and works sort of like a Hybrid.  This adds MPG which is a great thing!

Stay tuned for follow up articles with more gas saving tips!

Suburban Sprawl and It’s Effect on Gas Prices

Suburban sprawl has been an issue in many metro areas over the years.  In fact, I live in Metro Detroit, an area that has long been affected by suburban sprawl.  Essentially the population in the area was once mainly confined to the city of Detroit, and then as time went on and the automobile became more prevalent people began to venture to more rural areas outside the city.  I happen to live in one of these suburban areas myself and I enjoy it very much, but I’ve also worked in the city and experienced the troubles with commuting downtown.  We have all the conveniences of businesses, shopping, and more importantly safety in my city, but that doesn’t mean that I don’t travel downtown quite often.  The issue with suburban sprawl is that it has created a dependency on autmobiles and gasoline.  Higher gas prices means that we are handcuffed to paying more for a daily commute we often cannot change.

The United States, and more specifically Metro Detroit, is so dependent on the auto industry that we have often lagged behind other areas that have made great strides with mass transportation.  Other countries, and some cities like New York, have dependable and cheap mass transit that cuts down on the effect that ever changing oil prices have on our wallets.  I feel that we need to step up and spend more public dollars on developing mass transit throughout our country.  I’m also a proponent of introducing light rail options in the metro Detroit area as well.  I think that we can work in tandem with the auto industry to help make them the technology leader of these rail systems and rail cars.  In turn we could cut down on pollution, congested traffic jams, and our dependency on foreign oil.

Keep a Close Commute

I live in the Metro Detroit area, and while Detroit itself tends to get an unfairly bad rap, the views on the surrounding areas tend to go right along with it.  We actually have some of the nicest suburbs in the entire country, after all Oakland County is one of the wealthiest.  Don’t believe me, consider all of the auto executive money floating around, the number of Fortune 500 headquarters we have throughout the area, and even the sheer number of atheletes that live in the area.  Do an internet search of the country clubs in the metro area and that will highlight it even more.  My point being, because of the highly desirable areas to choose from we have created quite the suburban sprawl out here.  This has created numerous issues for all of us in metro Detroit.

The issues you ask, are wide ranging.  Due to suburban sprawl, and partially because of a dominant auto industry, we have never really taken advantage of a healthy public transportation system.  This means that we in the state of Michigan are handcuffed to gasoline prices and fuel economy more than you will ever know.  I used to work in Downtown Detroit, which was about a 40 mile drive for me, and a lot of stop and go traffic during the winter.  I loved working down there, but refused to live there.  This created quite the burden when it came to how much I spent on gasoline each month.

Fast forward several years later and I work about 10 miles from my house, and not only that, 9.5 miles my commute is all free way.  I also live close to my friends, my parents, and my wifes parents, which means less driving on a social level as well.  Gas prices tend to bounce up and down throughout the year, but they will never be back to the days of less than $3.00 a gallon, so we need to stop complaining and start solving the problem.  Remember the world’s economy revolves around the law of supply and demand.  Lessen the need and demand for oil, and you increase the supply, which in turn will actually lower the gas prices.

Hopefully this simple advice can help you save a few dollars, and perhaps hold off on bankruptcy a little longer ;)  In all seriousness, if you find yourself close to bankruptcy, look for other options such as Debt Free Direct bankruptcy advice, they have alternatives to help you avoid destroying your credit history as well available lines of credit.

Living in a Fuel Efficient Future

Fuel-efficient vehicles have become increasingly popular with consumers in recent years as fluctuations in fuel prices and environmental concerns serve only to highlight the necessity for new technologies capable of dealing with these pressing issues. Whilst some of the ideas such as reducing the overall drag and weight of vehicles are more obvious to consumers, it is the combination of such advances with the use of new fuel technologies which is likely to make the most impact. With that in mind, here are the three main technologies which manufacturers are relying on to usher in a new age of fuel efficiency:

Hybrid vehicles

Manufacturers such as Toyota have seen sales of their hybrid vehicles exceeding initial expectations as people respond to the convenience and familiarity of a car which opts to combine the savings of an electric cell with the convenience and reliance of a more traditional internal combustion engine. High profile celebrity purchases have seen the acceptance of cars such as the Toyota Prius growing at a steady rate, with hybrids now making up nearly half of all Toyota’s sales in Japan.

All-electric vehicles

Vehicles such as the Nissan Leaf are starting to offer a more attractive version of all-electric battery powered technology which has previously been criticised for the low mileage achievable between charges. This, coupled with the difficulty of locating appropriate charging stations has meant uptake of electric vehicles has been relatively slow amongst the general population, although sales have improved in recent years.

Fuel Cell Vehicles

Although the technology is still currently in its infancy, the next two to three years will see the introduction of the first truly viable fuel cell vehicles available to the public. Just like the battery-powered electric vehicles that are currently on the market , these are driven by electric motors, but uniquely, they utilise a chemical reaction between hydrogen and oxygen to generate their power, thus eliminating the use for any reliance on fossil fuels. Expectations for the technology are high as vehicles running on such cells will dramatically reduce emissions, as well as being exceedingly cheap to operate.

What all this means is that there is an increasingly diverse range of options available for those drivers looking to invest in the future of the planet whilst hopefully driving down the cost of motoring at the same time. Technological advances are often driven by necessity and it is clear that with the increasing visibility of electric, hybrid (and soon fuel cell) vehicles, the requirement to produce cars that can be run cheaply, and without causing damage to the environment is only set to increase.

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