When it comes to saving money on gas, you have to think outside the pump

If you search the Internet you’ll find plenty of blogs about driving tips and techniques that will save you money on gasoline and increase your car’s mpg. Our blog today goes into somewhat newer territory and explores other tips, techniques and tasks that you can accomplish that should positively affect your fuel economy and, hopefully, save you even more money when you’re filling up your tank. Enjoy.

  • As more and more people purchase hybrid automobiles, owner groups are being formed in cities all over the globe. Some of the topics that they discuss are efficient driving techniques and ways to increase fuel economy and decrease emissions. Even if you don’t own a hybrid you’re welcome to attend and possibly glean some information and a tip or two for yourself.
  • Although this may start an argument or two, if you’re part of a couple and you go everywhere together, the most efficient driver of the two should do the most driving. (We are not taking sides, seriously.)
  • Most people like to fuss and complain about how much gas costs but very few will take the time to actually track their fuel consumption. Without this information it’s going to be very difficult to see if all of your tactics are improving your car’s fuel economy. There are a number of apps that you can use to help you if you have a mobile smartphone and, even if you don’t, you can keep track of what you’re spending, the amount of miles you’re getting and the amount of gallons of gas you’re purchasing in a small notebook. Use those numbers and some simple math to figure out what mpg your car’s getting and track it to see if it gets any better as your driving habits improve.
  • Many of today’s newer cars have a fuel consumption display and, if yours has one, the feedback that it can give you can help you to lower your cars consumption of gasoline. With this type of display you can not only track individual trips but, with some, portions of trips and keep track of how well your car’s doing. (And how well you are driving.)
  • If you have the option (and not everyone does) choosing to use roads that have less traffic will give you more opportunity to employ fuel saving tactics and techniques like hypermiling. Even a route that is technically longer may actually save you money if you have a lot less stopping and starting.
  • If efficient driving has an enemy it’s the person that is always in a rush to get somewhere because they’re always late. If you’re driving somewhere in a rush you will certainly not have the extra time (or patience) to use money-saving driving techniques. Better to leave a little bit early and give yourself time to get where you’re going at a regular and relaxed pace.
  • A very interesting effect can happen on the highway when many cars are traveling together at a constant rate of speed. It’s called the corridor effect and it’s basically a man-made breeze that, like a tailwind on an airplane, will  give your car a little extra boost and your mpg as well.
  • Do you frequent fast food restaurants like McDonald’s, Burger King, Chick-fil-A and the like? If you do, the best way to save gas is to park your car and go in, even if you’re not planning on eating inside the restaurant. Unless you’re the only person in line the chance of waiting in line, engine idling the entire time and wasting gas is high if you use the drive-through.
  • If you’re on a highway with 2 lanes or more, always choose the lane that has the least amount of traffic so that you can avoid unnecessary braking and sometimes unpredictable changes in speed and direction.
  • If you can, avoid driving in bad weather of any kind as any type of precipitation, as well as high winds, can dramatically decrease your car’s gas mileage.
  • The same can be said for rush-hour traffic which, if possible, should be avoided like the next new Adam Sandler movie. (Sorry but Jack and Jill was atrocious.) The stop and go traffic that accompanies rush-hour is not only detrimental to your car’s fuel consumption but also to your mental health. (Just like Jack and Jill !)

We have a lot more tips just like these that were going to be bringing you over the next few days so make sure to come back soon and get your daily fill of all the best, money-saving, mpg increasing driving tips around. See you then.

Fuel Saving Tips that aren’t really going to make a difference in your car’s mpg

With the price of gasoline going ever higher, drivers are looking high and low for tips that will help increase their MPG and reduce the amount they spend for gasoline. While this is actually a good thing, the fact is that there are many tips being circulated that claim to reduce your car’s gas consumption and increase its MPG but aren’t actually doing much of anything. With that in mind we thought we’d take a look at some of these ‘tips’ and expose them for what they are; bad tips. Enjoy.

Practically every fuel saving tip blog talks about how vital it is to check and replace your car’s air filter regularly. In fact, tests performed by several different testing companies have found that dirty air filters actually no longer have much of an impact on the mpg of the newer cars that are being made today. The reason is that today’s modern car engines are computer-controlled, and the amount of air that’s coming in is precisely controlled as well. When you reduce airflow, your car’s engine automatically reduces the amount of fuel that uses. Most tests did note that, while fuel economy didn’t change significantly, acceleration did and was slower when a car’s air filter was dirty.

In years past it was necessary to warm up your car before taking it out for a spin, especially in winter. That was during the days of chokes and carburetors but, with today’s modern fuel injected and electronically controlled vehicles, it’s just not necessary. The fact is, today’s car engines are at their most efficient when they’re operating at their normal temperature, and if you want to reach that normal temperature quickly the best thing to do is start driving right after you start up the car.

One ‘tip’ that’s very common to find says that filling up in the morning is best as the weather will be cooler and you’ll actually benefit by getting more gasoline at that time. The theory behind this is that, when gasoline is cooler, it will be denser and you’ll get more for your money. The truth however is, since gasoline is stored in large tanks underground, its temperature changes very little no matter what time of the day it is. Whether you purchase in the morning, the afternoon or late at night, any difference in the actual amount of gasoline that you get will be negligible at best.

One common misconception is that ‘no name’ gasoline, generally sold by independent gas stations, isn’t as good as gasoline that you can purchase at a well-known, brand named station. The fact is that, although it sometimes formulated with different additives that are designed to help the engine stay clean, off-brand gasoline has not been shown to cause any significant changes to normally operating vehicles.

One of the biggest myths about gasoline is that premium is the best to buy for all cars and will give all cars a boost in MPG. Indeed, the big oil corporations have been working overtime to get consumers to believe in the good, better or best types of gasoline, drilling it into our collective psyche for the last two decades at least.

While premium gasoline will definitely maximize power in high-performance car engines, drivers of cars with regular engines will never notice a difference and should definitely use regular as the cost of regular is generally about 25% less than the cost of premium gasoline. If you are the lucky owner of a high-end luxury car, a high-end sports car or any other type of vehicle that would fit into these two classes, premium is usually recommended by the maufacturer. For all else, regular is just as good.

There’s long been a debate between whether it’s best to open the windows and not use the air-conditioning or close them and keep your car cool. Several recent tests using a Honda Accord showed that, at 65 mph, it’s MPG was reduced by about .05%. (Practically nothing.) The same vehicle, driven at the same speed with the windows open, had no measurable effects whatsoever.

One final ‘tip’ concerns low rolling resistance tires. While it is true that less tire hitting the road will create less friction, it’s been shown that the increase in MPG is practically insignificant. Not only that but, since low rolling resistance tires give up a little bit of braking performance and have a poorer tread, it’s not a worthy trade-off (in our humble opinion).

There are definitely a lot of things that you can do to save money on gasoline, including making sure that you maintain your car, keep your tires properly inflated, keep your speed below 60 mph and many others. Use those and focus your energies on them because the ones that we listed above definitely aren’t worth your time.

The ‘Truth’ about Gas-Saving” Products

It seems that every time gas prices increase the number of products on the market that say they will help you save gas increases also. There are plenty of practical steps that you can take to save gasoline, to be sure, but many people are still wanting to increase their gas savings further and can sometimes fall victim to advertisements for products that sound great but usually are not. The fact is, most of the products on the market today that are being sold to help people save gas don’t actually work or, at best, save only a very small amount of gas.

As with anything in life it’s always a good idea to be skeptical and, when it comes to gas saving devices, it may be a good idea to be more than just a little skeptical. Some of the claims that you should be on the lookout for include the ones that were going to talk about below. Enjoy.

Many ads will tell you that they have a product that ‘improves fuel economy by 20%’ or some other impressive number. It sure sounds great but the fact is that, despite testing or at least evaluating more than 100 devices that allegedly save gas, the EPA has not found a single one that will significantly improve your gas mileage. Even worse, some of these products have been found to actually increase exhaust emissions, something that’s not so great for the planet, and also damage your car’s engine.

Some products will tell you that after you install them in your car will get more miles per gallon. These ads usually feature excellent and glowing testimonials from customers who are incredibly satisfied but, the fact is, very few people have the equipment or the knowledge to be able to test and make sure that the claimed increase in mileage is actually being achieved. There are so many variables that affect fuel consumption, including road conditions, your car’s condition, traffic conditions and much more.

One of the worst examples of this are testimonials that are based on products that were installed at the same time that a car had a complete tune-up, something that of course is never mentioned in the testimonial. The increased gas mileage could very well be attributed to the tune-up rather than the product that was installed.

Many manufacturers will try get you to believe that their product is ‘approved by the federal government’. This is actually a blatant lie as the federal government does not endorse a single ‘gas saving’ product for any automobile. About the most that any company can say is that their product has been evaluated by the EPA and, if this is the case, you can ask them for their EPA report or go online and see if they are listed on the EPA.gov website.

One factor that is practically impossible to tell is how a fuel saving product will affect your car in the long run. While the EPA evaluates some products to see if they will improve (or hurt) your fuel economy, they don’t test for the effects that the product will have on your vehicle over time. Today’s new cars have emission control systems that are incredibly sophisticated and, in many cases, retrofit products that you put on your car to save gas may very well damage or negatively affect the systems.

At the end of the day if you’ve purchased a gas saving product that doesn’t appear to be working (which is really not a big surprise) the first thing that you should do is contact the manufacturer and ask that your money be refunded. The majority of companies that make these products offer money back guarantees and, if they do and your product isn’t working, you should definitely take advantage of the guarantee. Besides that you can also contact the consumer protection agency in your city and also file a complaint with the FTC.

Can you Increase Your Gas Mileage by 70 Percent?

One of the most popular programs on the Discovery Channel is a show called MythBusters featuring two FX/scientist/nerd type dudes that put myths, mostly urban, to the test to see if they hold up. On a recent show they decided to try and bust the myth that ‘hypermiling’ could double a car’s fuel economy. (Hypermiling is a technique that some people use to get the most miles out of a tank of gas.)

To test their theory they used two cars, one a newer sedan and the other an older coupe, and drove them on 3 gallons of gas to see exactly how far that they can go. They then used hypermiling techniques to do the same thing and to see what would happen.

At the end of the show what they found was very interesting. The newer car was able to get 30 miles more using hypermiling techniques, an improvement over 21.3 mpg. The older car went up a surprising 70% further, increasing its mpg from 26 to almost 46. While technically the hypermiling myth was busted, the fact remains that a 70% increase in fuel economy is pretty darned impressive.

The driving techniques and the car modifications that they made were all legal in California (that’s where the show was shot) meaning that they will probably be legal for most people in other states as well. Of course, checking with your state to make sure would probably be a good idea.

In any case, below are some of the hypermiling tips and tricks that they used and that you can use also if you’d like to improve the mpg of your own car. Keep in mind that these are the techniques and tactics that the folks on MythBusters used and that we’re not exactly espousing any of them.

First, never drive over 45 mph. This includes while you’re on the highway as well and, even though you might make a few enemies while doing it, you’ll definitely use a lot less fuel.

As anything that sticks out or off of your car creates wind resistance, removing the passenger side mirror as well as roof racks or anything else that creates drag will increase your mileage and decrease your gas usage.

At the foundation of hypermiling is the notion that you should practically avoid braking at all costs and avoid rapid acceleration the same way. This means that you’re going to be driving slower, breaking glass and looking as far ahead as possible so that you’ll know exactly what’s coming,

On MythBusters, every time they were at a stop they turned off the car’s engine. This certainly helped to lower the amount of gas they were using per gallon but, in real life, may cause people to become ‘frustrated’ with you, to say the least.

They also kept the windows completely up to reduce drag and turned the A/C off. While this may work in some states, in other states like Nevada, Texas and Florida it’s probably a bit too hot to do this.

Not long ago MythBusters tested the myth about angry drivers using more gas. Their results said yes and it’s become part of hypermiling lore. People who drive angry or stressed usually drive faster and more recklessly, two things that will use more gas. Relaxing and taking if you deep breaths is probably a better solution.

Drafting, the technique of driving closely behind a bigger vehicle like a van or truck, has also been found to lower your car’s gas consumption. Of course, it can also be a little dangerous and some hypermiling advocates think it should be avoided.

The same can be said for over-inflating your tires by 10%. While you may get a little bit better gas mileage, the fact is that tires are one of the most expensive parts to replace on a car. The savings that you may receive from over inflating them will more than likely not be enough to cover the damage that you’re doing and the cost of a new set of 4.

Finally, they reduced the weight in both cars on the show to practically nothing besides the driver. If any of the techniques are a surefire way to lower gas consumption, reducing the weight in your car as much as possible is  definitely it. Get rid of maps, golf clubs,  half full gallons of washing fluid and anything else that you don’t need while on the road.

At the end of the day some of these techniques may be quite practical and some not. Removing your side view mirror, drafting behind a huge truck and over-inflating your tires may actually be dangerous enough that you shouldn’t consider them. All of the other techniques are definitely worth a try however, and with gasoline averaging $4.00 a gallon nationwide, today may be a good day to start.

More Tips for Saving Money on Gas

No matter where you live in the United States, everyone has been affected by rising gas prices. It doesn’t matter what kind of car you drive, how many miles you drive or any other driving habit in particular, filling up still hurts your pocketbook. In order to reduce some of the pain, we’ve put together another blog with some more excellent gas and money saving tips. Use them and the sting of filling up won’t be as sharp. Enjoy.

When you’re actually standing in front of the pump, it’s a good idea to know the octane level that’s recommended for your car so that you don’t use an octane that’s either higher than you need or too low and can cause mechanical problems. The fact is however that most cars will run just fine on regular gas and, unless you’re driving a finely tuned sports car, anything above regular is a waste of money.

There are a number of mobile phone apps that you can download that will help you find the cheapest gas in your particular town. GasBuddy is one of the best and is updated by actual members throughout the day. Some gas stations will have a weekly special or a day of the week when you can get a discount, so make sure you keep your eyes open for those.

If you have good credit and you can pay off your credit card at the end of the month, one that offers cash-back for gas purchases might be a great idea. Of course you’ll need to check the fine print to make sure that fees, interest rates and other charges don’t outweigh the rewards that you get.

Very few cars these days need to be warmed up, even in the coldest weather. In fact, it’s best to start driving as soon as you start your engine as it will actually warm up faster once you’re moving. The warmer your engine the less gas that it will use.

Although several states will allow you to drive over 60 mph, mileage experts believe that most cars began to rapidly lose mileage above that speed. In fact, it’s been determined that for every 5 mph you drive over 60 mph, your spending approximately $.24 more for every gallon of gas.

Idling your car for long periods of time, like when you’re sitting waiting for your children to get done with school, not only wastes a ton of fuel but also contributes heavily to air pollution. If you’re going to be sitting for more than 30 seconds, your best bet is to turn off the engine and open the Windows. You’ll save gas and save the planet at the same time.

Using cruise control is an excellent way to save fuel as you won’t be depending on your foot to keep your car traveling at a regular rate of speed, something that’s vital to conserving gas.

While jackrabbit starts aren’t going to be beneficial for your MPG, will you don’t want to take too long to get up to speed either. Higher gears in your engine will use less gas and so getting up to a speed where your engine switches gears is important. Will

As for air-conditioning, recent studies have shown that, over 55 mph, having the windows open will actually use more gas than using the air-conditioning. Below that speed the savings aren’t exactly spectacular and thus, if it’s really hot out, you should probably just keep the windows up and use the AC.

A properly tuned automobile is always going to use less gas and thus keeping your car’s engine tuned, changing the gas every 5000 miles and keeping the tires properly inflated and aligned are going to definitely save you money not just for gas but for car repairs as well.

One last note; manufacturers have rushed tons of new products to market that will promise to improve your gas mileage in a myriad of different ways. The EPA has actually tested the vast majority of these devices and products and found that very few of them provide any benefit. In fact, they found some that made things worse and also caused a big increase in air fouling exhaust emissions.

The fact is, if you keep your car tuned and purchase gas from a reputable station, your MPG is probably going to be as good as it gets. Many of the tips above will only save you a small amount of gas but, when you combine all of them together, you could actually be looking at a substantial savings. The more of them that you can fit into your driving habits, the better.

Fuel Saving Tips to beat the Gas Crunch Part 4 of 4

Hello and welcome back for the final blog in our 4-Part series entitled Fuel Tips on how to Beat the Gas Crunch. In the first 3 blogs that we have presented there were a slew of excellent tips that, by now, should already have started helping you to cut down on fuel use and spend less money on gasoline. Today’s final blog is more of the same so, if you’re ready for the last of our excellent gas saving tips, we’re ready to give them to you. Enjoy.

Stay in tune. This might be one of the most vital tips that we’re going to give you. Keeping your car tuned up and running in top condition is one of the best ways to use less gas and thus save money on gasoline. Regular oil changes are a good start as well as having all of the major systems checked at the same time. Between tune-ups at your local garage you should also check fluid levels and anything else that you can easily take a look at yourself. Frankly, most of today’s new cars don’t have very much so your regular tune-ups are going to be even more important.

Oil me up. There are many types of oil that you can use in your car but the most recommendable is synthetic engine oil as long as it fits with your vehicle’s manufacturer recommendations. Synthetic oils will lower your engines turning resistance, helping it to handle higher temperatures without breaking down and increase your mileage by up to 10%. Follow your car’s manufacturer recommended specifications or the recommendations of your trusted mechanic and you should be fine.

Wax on, wax off. While this may only save you a miniscule amount of gas, keeping your car nicely waxed will cut down on wind resistance and thus fuel usage. With today’s prices being so high anything that you can do to decrease the damage that gasoline will do to your wallet is a good idea.

Perfect timing. Today many traffic lights have pedestrian countdown clocks that let people on foot no how long it will be until the light changes. Smart drivers can also use these countdown clocks to gauge whether or not they will make it through the upcoming traffic light and thus either start coasting or stay at speed and make it through.

Slow food. If you frequently go to the drive-in at your favorite fast food restaurant only to find that there are several people in line you’d do better to park the car and go in to order your food. This may take you a few extra minutes but, depending on how often you go, could actually save you quite a bit of fuel. In many cases you may actually get your food and get back out into traffic faster than if you would have waited on line, idling and wasting your time and gas.

Cruising and losing. How often have we seen someone aimlessly driving around a parking lot looking for a space that was ‘closer’ to the entrance of the store that they were keen on visiting. Not only does this waste time it wastes gas. Better to find a spot quickly and park right away, even if you have to walk a little extra. Besides, the walk will do you good. (Remember  to pull through so that you can pull out going forward rather than having to back out and use more gas.)

Take the long way home. We’ve already told you how combining short trips into one longer trip is a good idea. Even better is to go to the furthest destination on your list first because your car’s engine will then have the time to heat up to its maximum efficiency and operating temperature, saving you gas on the rest of the short trips you’ve combined together.

The deep end of the pool. Carpooling as a way to save gas is certainly not a new idea but it’s an idea that is very valuable indeed. Not only can you save a huge amount of gas but your car will also need less maintenance and so you’ll save money on that as well. Carpooling is also an excellent way to make fast friends with your neighbors and even get some work done while you’re on your way into work. (Or waste a little time on FaceBook if that floats your boat. Your call.)

Road relaxed.  If you are an overly aggressive driver, constantly accelerating rapidly and braking hard, you should know that you’re wasting tons of gas. How much gas? How about up to 33% on the highway and nearly 10% when you’re driving around town. Aggressive driving not only wastes gas but is dangerous and quite rude so, unless you like being rude, wasting gas and  putting your neighbors at risk, slow down a little and listen to some relaxing music instead while you’re driving.

Start saving. Today’s modern automobiles start extremely easily. What this means is that there is no need whatsoever to push down on the accelerator when you start your car. It’s not only unnecessary but it’s also quite hard on your engine and wastes a lot of fuel. A fuel injected engine can actually be started without touching the accelerator pedal whatsoever. Mashing down on the accelerator will wear your engine down prematurely and also shorten the life of your starter along with increasing your gas costs.

Follow me (but not too close). If you are the type of person that likes to tailgate you’re not only a bit rude (sorry but we call it like we see it) but also are wasting gas because you’re going to have to brake more often. You’d be better to leave a few car lengths between you and the car ahead of you so that, if you need to brake, you can instead just cruise and let your car’s inertia carry you until you can safely accelerate again.

We truly hope that this series of blogs has been helpful and that you’ve already started seeing some savings at the gas pump. Frankly, we don’t see gas prices dropping anytime soon so using as many of these tips as possible is going to make it a lot easier on your wallet. Until next time, drive safely, drive intelligently and make sure to drive your mouse back to our website soon because we’re always bringing you great tips on saving money, finances, investing and entrepreneurship. It’s all great stuff and we bring it to you because we care. See you soon.

Fuel Saving Tips to beat the Gas Crunch Part 3 of 4

Hello and welcome back for Part 3 of our 4-Part blog series on fuel saving tips to beat the gas crunch. We’ve already given you 2 excellent blogs with plenty of tips and advice for saving money on gasoline and today we’ve got quite a few more. So if you’re ready to save gas and feel good about yourself next time you fill up the tank, let’s get going. Enjoy.

Don’t be trippy. We’ve said it before and will say it again; if you have several small trips to make combining them into one larger trip is going to save you gas and time. One of the reasons is that, once your engine is warmed up, it is more efficient, even if you have to stop for up to 30 minutes. So, when possible, combine those small trips and save yourself some gas money.

We have a garage? Many people have so much extra stuff in their house that their garage ends up being more of a storage shed then a place to park their car. While this may be necessary in some cases (like, if you’re being featured on the TV show Hoarders) it would be better to park your car in your garage than outside of it. In winter this will save you fuel because a warmer engine will warm up to its fuel efficient temperature much faster. In summer your car will be cooler if it’s parked in the garage and so you won’t need to use as much air conditioning to cool it to a comfortable level.

Idling your gas away. When you come to a stop light and you know you’re going to be sitting for a few seconds turn off some of the electrical instruments that your car is using, including that wipers, fans, heater, music volume or air conditioner. When all of these are being used at once the demand on the alternator will cause the engine to idle at a higher RPM and thus use more gas. It might not save you a lot but, if you are hitting a lot of red lights, you may want to turn everything down to minimum levels and save as much as you can.

Low roller. Many tire manufacturers are now making low rolling resistance or LRR tires that they claim can improve gas mileage by up to 7%. While this hasn’t been tested by any expert yet it does seem to make sense so, next time you look for new tires, look into LRR tires as well and consider purchasing them to save money on gas.

Penny wise and fuel foolish. Today most people have smart phones and there are several excellent apps that can be downloaded that will help you find the cheapest gas prices in your particular town. (Gas Buddy is one of the best.) If you have a smart phone you should definitely get one of these apps and use it every time you fill up. That being said, driving 10 miles out of your way to save two cents a gallon on fuel isn’t actually going to save you anything but probably will use more gas. Better to plan your trips to the gas station as best as you can and, before you start driving, figure out which station on your way has the best prices.

Straight start. Whenever you park your car you should park it in a way that allows you to pull straight out rather than having to back out, especially if the car will be sitting long enough for the engine to get cold. Having to reverse out of your parking spot when the car’s engine is cold can actually use up to 5% more fuel. This should be done in a parking garage or lot as well.

Say no to snow. If you live in an area of the country that gets frequent snowstorms in winter you should definitely clean off as much snow as you can from your car’s roof and hood before going anywhere. This will cut down on extra weight and drag and also prevent accidents from snow flying off of your car at high speed. Even a 1 inch layer of snow can add up to 100 pounds of weight onto your car, weight that will lower your cars mileage and increase gas consumption greatly.

Do things the EZ way. On the east coast of the United States there are many highways that have tolls. Most of these highways also have something called an EZ pass, a small device that you can attach to your windshield and will allow you to pass through tollbooths without having to stop and pay for each toll. Not only that, you won’t have to worry about having change in your car all the time and will get where you are going much quicker. An EZ Pass member will also get a monthly bill from their states EZ Pass control center, a bill that can be used to keep track of expenses and at tax time.

Tanks a lot. If you pull into your favorite gas station and you see that there is a tanker truck parked there, filling up their in-ground tanks, don’t get gas but rather find another station to use, at least for that one fill-up. The reason is that, when a station’s tanks are being filled, any sediment and gunk that has accumulated at the bottom of the tanks can be stirred up and will be floating around in the gas that you will then put into your tank, sediment loaded gas that can clog your fuel filters, your fuel injectors and so forth and decrease your car’s performance.

And there’s Part 3 in all its glory!  We hope you liked it and got some help from at least a few of the tips and advice offered here today.  There’s 1 more Part to go so, when you have a spare minute, make sure to come back and visit us for more gas and momey saving tips. See you then.

Fuel Saving Tips to beat the Gas Crunch Part 1 of 4

More than likely we don’t have to tell you how ridiculous gas prices have become lately. Unless you don’t drive a car you’re more than likely acutely aware of the fact that filling up your gas tank can put a serious hurt on your wallet. Now, to be perfectly frank, we’ve written plenty of blog articles about how to save money on gas. From carpooling to riding a bicycle and everything in between we probably covered it already.

That being said, we also realize that many of our readers are new and many of you are searching for tips, advice and facts that will help you to lower your gasoline costs right now. Some of the tips and advice will be sharing with you during this 3-part series you might have heard about already and some of them are new (even to us). Thus we present Part 1 in our 4-part series of fuel saving tips to beat the gas crunch. Enjoy.

Lighten the load. Simply put, the more junk you carry around with you in your car more gasoline your car is going to use. Some people carry so much stuff in their car that they don’t even have room for other passengers! Lighten the load and you will lighten the stress that filling up puts on your wallet.

Air on the side of caution. Tires that are either under or over-inflated can negatively affect your gas mileage. On the inside driver doorframe of most cars you’ll find a sticker with lots of information, including the correct PSI for the tires that came stock with your car. Use this number rather than the number that’s written on the side of the tires as your recommended psi and make sure to check your tire pressure at least once a week, especially in summer, to make sure that they are properly inflated.

The shoe for you.  Unless you need to wear thick, heavy boots because it’s winter or because of your work, try to wear thin shoes as it will give you a much better feel for your gas pedal and you’ll use less gasoline. This is especially pronounced if you do a lot of stop and go driving around town.

Avoid the rush. Unless you have to be at your work, or anywhere else for that matter, at a time that coincides with rush hour, avoid going anywhere at this time as it means that you will more than likely encounter much more traffic and be forced to accelerate and decelerate much more frequently and thus use much more gasoline. We have heard of many people that have changed their work hours so that they could arrive earlier and leave earlier and vice versa so that they could not only avoid rush-hour but save on gas costs.

Don’t drive distracted. Do you eat, talk on the phone or even play games on your smartphone when you drive? If you do you’re not only a danger to yourself and your fellow drivers but you’re also wasting gas. Don’t do that, please.

Up to speed. There are two trains of thought on how quickly you should accelerate from a stop. The first says that you should accelerate slowly and build up speed slowly so that your engine uses less gas. The second says that, while you shouldn’t take off like an Indy 500 driver from a stop, you should accelerate at a reasonable speed to get your car into a higher gear more quickly (where your engine will use less gas). More than likely the best way to accelerate from a stop is somewhere in between the two, based on the type of car that you have and the area of the country where you live.

Coast to coast. There are many people that overly use their breaks. (We know, we’ve followed you.) What you do when you frequently use your breaks is cut down on your cars inertial energy, energy that you’ve already used gas to build up. Better to use this gas-fed inertia to coast to a stop, coast down hills and coast more when you are in stop and go traffic. This will not only save you gas but will save you maintenance costs to replace brake shoes and pads.

Egg on your shoe. This may seem a bit silly but we tried it and it works. What you need to do is pretend that there is a raw egg between your foot and your cars accelerator pedal. By doing this you will use less force when accelerating and thus less gas. (We don’t recommend this with a real egg because, frankly, it can be quite messy.)

Use your cruise (control). If your car has cruise control and you are not in stop and go traffic you should definitely be using it as much as possible. Simply put, even small amounts of acceleration and deceleration while you’re driving, which most people do when they’re not using cruise control, can negatively affect your gas mileage. On the highway especially you should use cruise control and set it at 65 mph. This will save you money and also save you from getting a speeding ticket.

That’s it for Part 1. We hope that some of these tips have been useful and we invite you to come back very soon for part two. Until then, drive safe, drive smart and have a great day. See you back here soon.

Products that may save you money on gasoline (or may not)

Unless you work from home and don’t have a car you are probably already acutely aware of the fact that gas prices keep going further and further up. What is also going up, in terms at least a frequency, are the number of advertisements for products that promise to save you money on gasoline. In fact, the amount of advertisements has gone up so much that it has prompted the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) to place a warning on its website that not all of the claims that these device manufacturers are making are true. With that in mind we thought we’d take a look at some of them and give our opinion (based on our research) about their ability to  increase your mileage and thus save you money on gasoline. Enjoy.

First and foremost it helps to know that the EPA has actually tested over 100 ‘gas saving’ devices and, in all of their testing, did not find a single one that actually produced any improvement and gas mileage that was significant. Not only that, they also found that some products are actually damaging to a car’s engine and others that increased exhaust emissions substantially. No matter how you slice it, any device that increases emissions substantially is a no-no in our book.

One of the most popular types of advertisements for gas saving devices are the ones that feature testimonials given by customers that are always, of course, extremely satisfied. The thing is however that most consumers don’t have the time, energy or equipment to precisely test any device that they purchase and install. Not only that but there are many variables that will  affect the way that your car consumes fuel including but not limited to weather conditions, road conditions and your car’s actual condition.

One thing to keep firmly in mind if you see an advertisement saying that a gas saving device has been approved by the federal government is that, in reality, the federal government has not approved and does not endorse any device of any kind for saving gas or increasing your gas mileage. At most a company can claim that the United States EPA has tested their product and reached a conclusion about it but you can bet that, whatever the conclusion is, it probably isn’t anything that’s all that great. In many cases there have been products that have made false claims and actually have been investigated by the EPA rather than approved by them.

The devices that we’re going to list below have been evaluated by the United States EPA and, for the most part, were found to provide a slight amount of increase in miles per gallon and thus a slight savings at the gas pumps.

  • Air bleed devices that ‘bleed air’ into the carburetor.
  • Vapor bleed devices are similar with the exception that the air bled into the carburetor has been passed through water and antifreeze first.
  • Ignition devices that can be attached to a car’s ignition system and save a slight amount of fuel.
  • In-line fuel heating or cooling devices that will either heat up your car’s fuel or cool it down before it enters the carburetor.
  • Magnetic fuel line devices that claim to change the molecular structure of gasoline and increase your MPG as well as metallic fuel line devices that claim to do something similar.
  • Under the carburetor mixture enhancers supposedly enhance vaporization of your air to fuel mixture and thus increase gas mileage.
  • Mechanical or physical engine modifications that change the way the engine functions.
  • Modification devices that reduce power to certain accessories while you’re driving.

One of the most popular products are fuel additives that are added to the car’s gas and claim to increase mpg. The fact is, very few of these products actually increase your mileage and enough to make up for their cost. That goes the same for oil additives. You can even find light and sound devices that supposedly will modify your driving habits and tell you  when it’s best to shift gears or decrease your speed.

Again, the fact is that the vast majority of these devices will only increase your MPG slightly and, in many cases, won’t even pay for themselves because the amount of gas that you save will be so slight.  Our best advice is to read one of our numerous blogs about gas saving habits that can actually save you gas and cost practically nothing to implement.  Happy driving!

Tips for Driving That Will Save You Money on Gas

With gas prices all over the United States hovering at about four dollars a gallon many people are desperately searching for any tips, advice or information that will allow them to save a little bit of money when filling up. Of course there are the old standbys, such as making sure the tires are inflated and maintaining the car as well as  possible, but frankly there  is only so much savings that you can get out of this. So, dear readers, what we did was search for a number of other ways to save money on gasoline and what we came up with is written for you below. Enjoy.

  1.         Most people don’t usually associate using their car’s brakes with using more gas but a few recent studies show that the more a person brakes the more fuel they use. Of course it’s necessary to use them when driving but, whenever possible, the best thing to do is coast when you know that you’re going to have to stop rather than waiting until the last moment and braking hard. What you’ll be doing is taking advantage of the kinetic energy that your car has built up, which means that your engine will use less fuel and you’ll save money. Indeed, you can save a surprising 12% to 15% on fuel just by using this one driving tactic.
  2.         You might also have heard that jackrabbit starts are not only bad for your car but use more fuel. While this is certainly true, getting up to speed too slowly can also use more fuel rather than less. The reason is that most cars get lower fuel economy when they are in lower gears. Recent testing showed that accelerating a car to 50 mph in a 15 second period used less fuel than doing the same thing but over 30 seconds, a savings attributed to the test cars entering their top, fuel saving gears faster.
  3.         Many people have gotten the advice to open the windows rather than using the A/C.  In all honesty, there are plenty of people on both sides of this fence. Some will tell you that using the air-conditioning (and being more comfortable) uses less fuel and thus cost less money than opening the windows and letting the air flowing through them keep you cool. Recent studies have found that, below 55 mph, fuel consumption was better when the windows were open and the AC was off. Conversely, at 60 mph or higher closing the windows and turning on the AC made more sense, fuel efficiency wise, due to the drag of friction on the car.
  4.         One mistake that many people make is to use the psi maximum that is written on the sidewall of their tires. In reality, this is the maximum and thus not the most efficient psi. Checking the sticker on the inside of the driver’s side door or referring to the automobile owner’s manual will give you the exact psi for the tires that came with your car. Of course if you’ve purchased new tires since then you may need to refer to the manufacturer’s website or ask the technician that installed them for you if you want to find this precise and important fuel saving number.
  5.         Running a bunch of errands during one trip is an excellent way to save fuel but also something that most people already know. What most people might not know is that they should go to the store or other destination that is furthest from their home first so that their car’s engine is completely warmed up.  A warm engine performs better than a cold one and uses less fuel. Once warmed, even if you park for 30 minutes you will still benefit from increased performance and fuel savings.
  6.         This one might sound foolish but not only does FedEx use it, one of the biggest shipping companies in the world, but the television show MythBusters proved that it works. What is it? Making mostly right turns when you’re driving. Because it is easier and faster to make right turns in most states you will spend less time sitting at a traffic light or stop sign, car idling. Making all right turns will thus use less fuel but it does offer some challenges depending on where you’re going and what you are doing.
  7.         Ethanol, which is being used all over the country in most major gasoline blends, is not only harsh on your car’s engine but also worse for your MPG. The reason; ethanol stores less energy than gasoline and thus you need more of it to go the same distance. Whenever possible avoid gas that has ethanol in it or at least try to get the brand with the least.

While some of the ideas above might be a little bit worn we believe that some of the new information and advice that we coupled with them is definitely worth your attention, especially if you do a lot of driving. These days, even if you don’t do a lot of driving it still pays to use as many tips and tricks as possible to lower your fuel consumption and save money. We hope you like this blog and we invite you to come back and visit us again soon for more money-saving tips on all sorts of different things. See you then!

Avoid Ethanol When Possible
Gasoline that has been cut with 10 or 15 percent ethanol, called E10 or E15, is an mpg killer. Why? Gasoline stores more energy than ethanol (119,000 Btu per gallon vs 80,000). So it takes more ethanol than gasoline to go the same distance.

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