5 Winter Driving Tips That Will Save Fuel

The autumn season is all but a memory to us now, winter is quickly approaching, and as I write this article it is a bone chilling temperature outside.  Snow and ice can be a beautiful sight to look at, but they are no laughing matter when it comes to driving.  Winter conditions are absolutely hazardous, and they aid in guzzling fuel at an alarming rate.  People often think of the safety conditions when driving in this type of weather, but they don’t always consider the amount of gasoline that is used up as well.  Allow me to give you a few tips on how to save money on fuel this season.

All wheel drive is an amazing feature to have on any car, and it isn’t exclusive to only trucks anymore.  Many light vehicles now offer this option for a higher sticker price.  That being said, front wheel drive is still quite prevalent,  and with front wheel drive comes the nasty situation of spinning your wheels aimlessly in the snow.  For years it seemed like a common ritual for me, I would at some point in the season get my vehicle stuck in the snow.  As frustrating as this is, the worst thing you can do is slam on the pedal and continuously spin your wheels and burn your fuel at the same time.  Take a deep breath, make a phone call to a friend or family member.  Putting some sand, salt, or traction in between the tire and snow will most likely do the trick, and you won’t waste any gas to boot!

Here is a tip that will benefit you all year round, go at a moderate and steady pace!  Driving at a steady pace will free you of accelerating and braking, which uses up more fuel.  Not to mention this has the added benefit of avoiding tailspins, and other common accidents when it is wet or icy outside.  Do yourself a favor and save money, while being safe all at the same time.

I cannot stress this next tip enough, make sure you the proper amount of air in your tires!  Winter conditions do enough damage to your fuel economy as it is, you don’t need to help it along.  Having properly inflated tires will save you money on gasoline.  This is also an easy check these days, as many vehicles monitor air pressure electronically from inside the comfort and warmth of your own car.

That isn’t the last tip regarding tires.  While having air in your tires is vital to safety and fuel economy, let’s go a step further and recommend snow tires.  These tires are built specifically with winter in mind, and as such they are designed to drive in conditions that all season tires simply cannot handle.  Visit your local tire store and price them out, you may find that they will save you money, and increase safety in the long run.  Fortunately most communities also provide road salt to avoid excessive skidding, but snow tires are a good back up to have.

Last by certainly not least, stop “warming” up your vehicle on those chilly mornings.  I know it seems like a warm and comfortable idea, but idling your engine does little to get the warm air blowing, and it does a lot to waste fuel.  Warming up the car five days a week can be a costly venture, and one that can be avoided by managing a small amount of discomfort.

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.



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.

How to Save Money on Petrol

How to Save Money on Petrol

The cost of petrol sets each driver back an average of £1300 each year according to a recent survey by the RAC. With the economy getting tougher and these petrol costs rising even higher, ways in which British drivers can save money are invaluable to us all. Fortunately there are a variety of ways in which this can be done. Â

Need for Speed?

If you want to avoid having to take out a payday loan to cover the cost of your petrol, you might want to start by fixing up on the speed of your driving. Unsurprisingly the speeds at which we drive at have an impact on our petrol usage.

However, saving petrol through controlling your driving speeds doesn’t necessarily entail driving slowly more of the time. There is little petrol difference between a driver of around 40mph with one of 30mph, or one at 50mph to one at 60mph. Instead the need for less speed becomes apparent when your car hits levels above 75mph. It is when this happens that your car really eats up its fuel.

The reason is simple; at very high speeds your engine will rev higher and as a result no longer be in the economical 2,000 to 2,500rpm band. It will thus be forced to work much harder to run and as a result drink way more petrol than normal.

Figures from our Department for Transport back this understanding with conclusions that driving at 70mph uses up to a significant 15 percent more than at 50mph. In addition, driving at 80mph can use as much as 25 percent more petrol than at 70mph.

Control your speeds to prevent yourself from going too fast.

Go Easy on the Revving

Never let the rev count go too high before changing gear. Letting your revs top 2,500 and 2,000 per minute on a petrol and diesel car respectively labours the engine in too high and therefore increases fuel consumption.

Handle Speed Bumps Correctly

One costly mistake constantly made by British drivers concerns speed bumps. Rather than driving along speed-humped roads at a steady 15-20mph, many of us brake hard, accelerate and then brake hard again for the next speed bump, drinking loads of petrol in the meantime.

Easy on the Air Con

While the effects are less noticeable at higher speeds, air conditioning can add between 5 percent and 7 percent in fuel costs when driving at low speeds. Crack the window open instead if you want to feel cooler but also save money on petrol.

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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