The Three Most Vital Car Maintenance Tasks to Help You Save Money on Gas

With prices hovering close to $4.00 a gallon all over the United States most people are looking for as many ways as possible to save money on gasoline. That’s understandable of course but, unfortunately, most people miss the three most important  automobile maintenance tasks that could easily save them up to $.30 a gallon every time they fill up.  With that in mind we put together a little blog about those three tasks, what they are and how they can increase your fuel economy and decrease the sting that you get at the pumps. Enjoy.

Task #1 – Make sure that you keep your car’s engine properly tuned at all times. If your car for example is noticeably out of tune or has recently failed and emissions test getting a tuned up can improve your gas mileage by almost 5%. This of course varies depending on the type of car that you have, it’s age and how well maintained it was before the tune-up. If your car is suffering from a serious problem such as an oxygen sensor that is working incorrectly, fixing this problem can improve your mileage by as much as 40%, which is a serious improvement. Even at only 4% this is an equivalent of approximately $.14 a gallon savings.

Task #2 – Make sure that your car’s tires are always kept at their proper pressure. For every 1 psi pressure drop your car’s mileage can actually be lowered by .3%. Also, keeping your tires properly inflated will allow them to last longer, thus lowering the cost to replace them.

Many people make the mistake of looking on the side of the tire and using the maximum pressure number that is printed there on the tire sidewall. Better to locate the driver side door-jam sticker or look in the owner’s manual to find the actual recommended psi and use that number instead.  Keeping your tires properly  inflated can thus give you a fuel economy benefit of approximately 3% or $.11 per gallon savings.

Task #3 – Find out what the recommended weight of motor oil is for your vehicle and use it every time you have the oil changed. This can actually improve your gas mileage by up to 2% and is also better for the car’s engine which will lower your maintenance costs overall.

If you use 10 W30 motor oil and the engine in your car was designed to run on 5 W30, using the wrong oil can lower your gas mileage by 2% and cost you more at the pump, obviously. When your car’s oil is being changed ask if they have energy conserving motor oil as it contains friction reducing additives that will also increase your gas mileage. The 2% bonus that using the correct motor oil can give you equals approximately $.07 per gallon savings.

Bonus Info – There is new information that has recently been released that shows that, while replacing a clogged air filter can improve a car’s performance and acceleration, it has little impact on a car’s MPG. This is mostly for cars that were made after the early 1980s. Thus, if you’re looking to improve gas mileage, replacing your car’s air filter is probably not going to give you much of a MPG boost.

Like practically everyone in America we hate filling up these days because the price of gasoline is doing so much damage to our wallets and purses. If you  can accomplish the three tasks above however you could save, as we said, up to about $.30 per gallon every time you fill up.

Over the cost of 1 tank of gas the savings might not be huge but, over a year’s worth of gas consumption, you could literally save hundreds of dollars. So make sure to keep your own mobile properly tuned, its tires properly inflated and use the manufacturer’s recommended weight of oil. Of course be sure to come back and join us very soon for more great money-saving information. See you then!

 

Money Saving Gas Tips

If there’s anything that all of us can’t get enough of it’s tips on where to find cheap gas. With gas prices hovering around four dollars a gallon anything that can be done to lower the price or lower your consumption is a great idea. With that in mind we’ve put together a blog about where to find and how to find cheap gas. We hope it takes the sting out of your next trip to the pump. Enjoy.

No matter where you live in the United States the cheapest gas always seems to be in the same general area. For example, the outlying suburbs seems to be the place to find it if you live in a major metro area. Also, as you might well imagine, unless you live in an area that is very wealthy because you are wealthy it’s best to avoid affluent areas if you’re keen on filling up the tank. The reason is simple; people who live in affluent areas can afford affluent gas prices. Also, the price reflects the fact that the gas station is located in an affluent area as well and has to make up the cost of being there in I it’s prices.

Another gas station to stay away from no matter where you are is the one that sits right near a major highway or freeway. In many cases it can be well worth the extra time and effort to drive a few blocks or a couple of miles away.

Finding a gas station that always has lower prices is a good idea, obviously. These types of stations normally are associated with wholesale clubs, department stores or grocery stores. These retail outlets sell gas as a loss leader because it brings in customers for their main products. Many of these retail stores have membership programs and so you need to factor in the cost of that when determining if it’s a good enough deal per gallon for you to make the extra effort. In many cases it is and so if you have the opportunity you might want to check into it at your local wholesale club or grocery store. As a side note, when you have a gas station that is also an auto repair shop oftentimes the gas per gallon there is much more expensive.

A number of gas station chains have started giving coupons for discounts on your gas. You can find these on the back of grocery store receipts, on the Internet, in the mail and other locations. There are number of stations that will give you a lower price on gas when you purchase a car wash at the same time. Also a number of the major credit cards have cards that are connected with major gas station chains and will get you one to 2% back for every gallon that you buy.

Lastly of course if you want to use less gas then you should look into buying a more fuel-efficient vehicle and try to drive your car as little as possible. This isn’t always possible of course, but in many cases it is. With gas prices as high as they are, if you’re eager to save as much money as possible you have to be willing to do as much as possible to accomplish that task.

Do those money saving Gas Tips really work?

As we all watch gas prices once again raise many of us are looking for ways to lower our gasoline bills.  There are plenty of ways to do that but the question is do all of them actually work?  With that in mind we put together a list of some of the tips that, while they sound good, aren’t exactly going to save you very much gas or money if at all. Now this won’t particularlyhelp you but they might save you time and / or energy if you’re currently doing some of them. Enjoy!

I common misconception is that if you fill your tank in the morning you will get more gas because the fuel is cold. Consumer Reports found that this idea, while it might make some sort of small scientific sense, really doesn’t do much of anything for the amount of gas you get, so stay in bed 15 minutes longer.

The increase in performance and gas consumption is also negligible when you change your air filter, mostly because today’s modern car has all sorts of sensors that will adjust the airflow if it becomes clogged.  Sure you should probably change them once a year but no more.

This one is a doozy.  Premium gas, while yes it may be slightly better for your car, provides such a small advantage that it in no way makes up for the extra cost.  Save your money and use regular unless you have a serious sports car that the manufacturer says needs the good stuff.

Some people have taken to overinflating their tires, the theory being that if there’s less rubber touching the road the car will use less gas.  While this is slightly true the fact is that, if your tires are over or under-inflated, this can cause your car to drive poorly and cause an accident. That’s definitely not worth the extra minimal gas savings in our opinion.

Another commonly held ‘belief’ is that using the AC uses a lot more gas.  Today’s cars however have modern AC systems that just don’t use that much extra fuel. In fact, driving around town with your AC on decreases your car’s mileage by about a mile per gallon which, on a blazing hot day, just isn’t worth the savings unless you’re really a big fan of sweat.

Before you drop big bucks at the local auto parts store on bottled additives for your car that say they will increase your mileage ask yourself this question; do you think the oil companies aren’t doing everything that they can already to increase the miles you get out of every gallon?  They do and the fact is that, if there was something that you could add to your tank to really get more mileage, it would already be in your gas.

Another way to save some gas money is to switch out your car for something a bit more fuel efficient. Yes, it will be sad to see your old car go, but your wallet will thank you. So, how should you go about getting rid of your old vehicle? Trade it in? Sell it? Scrap it? Those are all viable options, but there are also a number of benefits if you donate your car to charity. The immediate benefit is that this will look great on your taxes, as it is a large donation. You’ll also be helping out your choice of a number of great causes.

Hopefully we didn’t burst anybody’s bubble with these revelations.  Yes, there are a lot of things you can and should be doing to save gas like maintaining your car and driving no faster than 65 mph but the ‘solutions’ above aren’t on that list.  Cheers!

 

Some More Easy Ways to Save on Gas

As we all look for better ways to save money at the gas pump we may be overlooking the little changes we can make that will turn into big savings. You may think that you are already doing all you can to conserve your fuel and keep a reign on your gas budget but there might be a few changes you can make to squeeze out a little more savings.

Ditch the drive thru.

We all know that fast food is bad for our health but it can be bad for your gas budget as well. When you sit in your car idling in the drive thru you are wasting gas. The longer the line and the longer you sit the more gas money you’re pouring into that double shot espresso that you’re waiting so patiently for. Instead take the time to go inside it’s better for your wallet and the extra exercise is better for your waste.

Multi task

It’s true that while you’re driving your attention should only be on the road but you can make sure that while you’re out driving you get as much done as possible. Instead of making separate trips to the store or the cleaners on your day off try to do these on your way home from work or stop at the store when you’re coming home from the gym. If you make an intentional effort to drive less and plan your route so you can run as many errands at once you’ll be surprised at how much extra driving you can cut out of your schedule.

Share tasks

Perhaps you and a friend can team up to take turns driving to the grocery store on the weekend. Maybe you work right next door to the cleaners and can pick both yours and your neighbors cleaning in exchange for them stopping picking up the gallon of milk at the grocery store that is right next to their work. Think of not only the gas you can save but the time as well.

Thinking of ways to drive less will always be the best way to beat the high prices at the pump and you just might find yourself with more friends and better health as an added benefit.

The Top Tips for Better Gas Mileage

Gas prices are not just inching upwards they’re sprinting.  With that in mind we thought it was a great time to give you our best gas saving tips to help you out at the pump.  We’ve given them before but frankly they deserve repeating and prices skyrocket.

  • Purchase a fuel efficient car.  If you’re driving a gas guzzling behemoth of a car you’re going to really hate filling up these days.  Trade that money-eater in for something that sips gas rather than chugs it like a drunken frat boy chugs beer.
  • Of course a well-maintained car will always use less gas so make sure to keep it tuned up and keep the tires inflated to the correct pressure.  You’ll save at the pump and in repair costs.
  • Gas ‘saving’ products generally don’t work so don’t waste your money on them.
  • Gasoline conditioning products however may just save your engine, especially with the mix of ethanol in gasoline going up to 15%. Ethanol is highly corrosive and a conditioner is important to save your car’s engine and other vital parts.
  • Download the Gas Buddy App and go to the station that has the best prices.  Don’t, however, drive very far out of your way to save as this may make the savings moot.
  • Costco and Sam’s Club, the mega wholesale clubs, sell gasoline and you can usually get it cheaper there than at many regular stations.
  • Change the time that you commute to a time that is less crowded and wasteful.  If you can go in earlier or later and leave in a similar fashion you’ll save gas money lost due to sitting in traffic and stop-and-go traffic conditions.
  • Make 1 large trip instead of multiple little trips.  Instead of a trip to the grocery store, to the bank and to the laundromat make all of those stops during 1 trip.
  • Get rid of anything and everything heavy in your car to lighten the load.  As for roof racks take them off unless you truly need them to increase your car’s aerodynamics.
  • Purchase your gas on Wednesday.  This is usually the cheapest day of the week.
  • Buy gas in the morning when it’s cooler and the gas hasn’t expanded from the heat.  You’ll get more for your money.
  • Unless your car specifically needs another grade buy regular.
  • Don’t top off your tank.  Gas will spill out and that’s just a shame.
  • Don’t idle, ever.  If you’re stopped for more than 15 seconds turn off your car completely.
  • Drive between 60 and 65 on the highway, no faster.  This is the optimum for most cars and any higher can waste up to 25% more gas per mile.
  • Anticipate lights and stop signs and try your hardest not to use your brakes.

The last Tip is simply this; drive less.  Take a walk, a bike or carpool.  The less you drive the more you save, it’s as simple as that.

Do Fuel and Oil Additives Really Work?

If you walk into any auto parts store in the country one of the products that takes up the biggest amount of shelf space are the fuel additives. It can actually be a little bit overwhelming to be sure as they all shout out how much gas they will save and how many more miles per gallon your car will get if you use their particular product.  The question however is this; do they actually work?  It’s certainly a good question as the average 1 pint bottle is about $8.00 or twice the cost of a gallon of gas.

The fact is, the EPA requires that any and all gasoline sold in the US contain a minimum amount of deposit controlling additives. These help to prevent sediment buildup in the engine’s fuel system and therefore will give you better mileage.  They also are only the minimum requirement and, as such, don’t always keep your car’s engine and fuel system as clean as it could be.

Studies have shown that indeed some types of fuel system cleaners do help keep your engine cleaner and thus running better, something that will increase your fuel economy. Some of these can remove existing deposits and will help your car to perform better.  The majority of these products contain the chemical polybutene amine (PBA) which can help clean some engine parts and increase performance.

The problem, however, is that PBA can actually lead to combustion chamber deposits.  This can then lead to increased emissions and even engine knocking problems. That’s not a good exchange for better fuel economy in our book.

Other types of additives (usually more advanced and thus more expensive) contain the chemical polyether amine (PEA) which can do the same job of cleaning and helping performance and also clean the combustion chamber, relieve cold-start problems and remove sulfur deposits from your car’s gas gauge sensor.

PEA was patented by Chevron but can now be found in many additives including STP, Valvoline and Gumout as well as Chevron’s Techron Concentrate Plus. Most auto dealerships actually use PEA in their service centers when they perform fuel injection cleaning, a service that costs about $150.00 on average.

What does that mean for you as a consumer who wants to increase fuel economy and save money?  It means you should buy an additive with PEA for about $15.00 and save about $135.00 on a fuel injection cleaning service! Now that’s some darn good advice that will save you big bucks and increase your gas mileage!  You’re welcome.

 

Gas Saving Products That Don’t Actually Save You Gas

With the price of gas inching ever higher today’s driver is looking for any way that he or she can save gas and increase mileage. That, unfortunately, has led to a plethora of products on the market that state their ability to save you fuel and increase mileage but, in fact, do little or none of both.  The EPA tests most of these products although they don’t have any restrictions as to what the manufacturers can claim on their labels and advertising. Below are a large number of products that the EPA has actually tested and found have virtually no effect on your car’s gas consumption.  Our advice; use them with caution because they can damage your wallet or purse.

  • Air bleed devices that bleed air into your car’s carburetor also bleed money out of your wallet. None have been found to increase mpg.
  • Vapor bleed devices are very similar except that they air is first forced through water and antifreeze.  Like their counterpart above they also force money from your wallet and into thin air.
  • Liquid injection products are also similar but, instead of adding air directly into the combustion chamber, they add it to the fuel intake or the air intake system. These have shown to produce a very slight difference in mpg and a very large dent in the amount of cash in your bank account.
  • Add-on ignition devices are added to your car’s stock system in replacement of the original ignition. Our advice; don’t fix it if it isn’t broken.
  • Heaters and coolers for the fuel line are very interesting. These either heat or cool the gas before it hits the carb. What they usually do in fact is hit your wallet in the gut and nothing more.
  • Fuel line magnets make the dubious claim of changing the molecular structure of the gas in your tank as it flows to the engine. If you believe this you probably also believe in Santa and the Easter bunny.
  • Metallic fuel line gas enhancers will tell you that they ionize your fuel, making it better and giving your car better mileage per gallon. Oh please.
  • Fuel mixture enhancers are used to improve the mixing of air into your fuel. If you believe this we’d posit that you have too much air mixed into your head.
  • Accessory drive modifiers can be installed to reduce the power consumption of some of your car’s accessories. They can also be used to reduce the amount of cash in your pocket but we will admit that the EPA has said that they will increase your fuel economy slightly.
  • One of the biggest types of ‘fuel saving’ products, fuel additives and oil additives, have been touted for years to make a large improvement in your car’s fuel economy. The facts are this; only those that use the chemical polyether amine (PEA) have shown any significant increase in mpg.  The rest are only adding to your debt.

Facts About Speed and Gas Consumption

With gas prices at an all-time high many drivers are looking for new ways to save money when they go to the pump. There are, to be sure, many ways that you can save a moderate amount of gas and increase your mileage per gallon that aren’t difficult to put in place.  The facts below will talk a little about how your speed, and the way you vary it while driving, can affect your mileage (and your wallet) and the accompanying tips will show you how to save by keeping an eye on your speed and other factors when you’re driving.

One of the biggest fuel wasters when driving is rapid acceleration from a stop. Experts say that, if you want to save fuel, you should accelerate from 0 to 20 in no less than 5 seconds and thereafter moderately and consistently until you reach a driving speed of 65 mph, the best mph for saving fuel.

Anticipating stops is a big way to save fuel as it helps you to keep a steady speed and avoid stopping and starting too often. ‘Reading’ the road ahead, anticipating stops at lights and in traffic, keeping a moderate distance between your car and the car ahead of you and coasting rather than using the brakes will all save you gas, to the tune of about 8%. It is also safer and will put less wear and tear on your vehicle.

When on the highway the average car gets the best fuel economy between 50 and 70 mph. Any speed above this optimal speed means that your engine is burning fuel at a much higher rate, sometimes as much as 20% higher! In some cases a difference of only 8 miles per hour more can use approximately $10.00 more fuel every hundred miles, an amount that can add up fast if you do a lot of driving.

When it comes to anticipating stops, as we mentioned earlier, here’s an interesting fact; fuel-injection systems, which most cars have today, will automatically shut off when you release your foot from the accelerator pedal completely. This means that, if you’re coasting, you’re not using fuel. As soon as your car reaches idle speed the system starts up again to avoid stalling.  This technique will also reduce wear on your brakes and pads and, in turn, reduce maintenance and repair costs significantly.

Finally it must be noted that if you vary your speed constantly, even as little as 10 mph, while driving on the highway you can increase gas use by as much as 20%! That’s why, if you have cruise control, it’s a great idea to use it while driving on the highway whenever possible.

Top 6 Tips When Buying a Fuel Efficient Car

Buying a fuel efficient car isn’t rocket surgery but there are a few things to consider before you buy one that can save you much more money over the life of the car and not just on your initial purchase price. The next 6 Tips will give you a lot to think about before you make this large, important purchase.

First you should consider what you need the car for. Is this a car to go back and forth to work with just you driving or is it for the family? How many people will be in it most of the time? If you get a car that’s much bigger than you really need you won’t save nearly as much gas as you could.

That being said, the right size and model is important. If you have 3 kids in high school a minivan is probably better than a sports car even though the sports car may get better mileage. On the other hand if you’re single and it doesn’t look like that’s going to change anytime soon a smaller car may be your best bet and will save you a lot on gas.

Sports car or compact car?  Let’s be honest; if you’re young and impulsive a sports car may look ‘cool’ but it’s going to suck up gas like a kid sucks up candy and, in the end, who are you really trying to impress?

Do your research and check out the best mileage models. If you go online you can find out which cars in the type of model you want get the best mileage.  Unless you have other criteria the one with the lowest mpg number is your best bet.

A Hybrid vehicle is a viable option and important to consider.  What you may want to do is figure out approximately how many miles you drive each year and see if the higher cost of a hybrid is going to save you money over the length of the car’s life. Consumer Reports says that the average time to recoup the extra cost is 5 years.

Consider Diesel if possible but remember that you’ll pay more at the pump per gallon and the amount of extra miles that a diesel gets may not be worth the extra cost of the fuel itself.  If you don’t do excessive amounts of driving it may be worth it however.

If you use these 6 Tips wisely you will be able to make a better choice and save some real money in fuel over the life of your new car.

Simple Gasoline Saving Tips

These days it doesn’t matter if you drive a teeny hybrid or a monster SUV everybody is trying to save money on gasoline because the price per gallon is so darned high. Even an improvement of 1 or 2 miles per gallon can mean big savings at the pump and keep your wallet from having a conniption fit. The tips below will all save you a small amount but, used in combination, should help you to lower your gas costs by about 10 to 15%.

 

Slowing down on the highway is an excellent way to save gas and increase your mileage. In fact, every 5 miles an hour that you drive over 60 uses about 20% more gas, which over a long trip can really add up.  If you don’t mind the trip taking just a little longer set your cruise control for the speed limit and be content to save some money.

 

Make sure that your tires are always inflated at the proper psi and check them once a week. Tires will lose air normally even if they are perfect so checking to make sure that they are is important. Underinflated tires can use 10% more gas at least so making sure they’re properly inflated will definitely save you gas.

 

The air filter is also something that needs to be checked and replaced often because it can hamper your car’s ability to perform and cost you big buck over time. Check to see if there’s one of the newer ‘permanent’ replacement filters that only need to be cleaned and save even more.

 

Be aware of where you are on the road an anticipate stops.  The more you have to stop the more gas you use when accelerating. If you take it easy and make all the lights rather than speeding and stopping ate every single one you’ll save gas and save the brakes too.

 

Make sure you change the oil at the required time.  Older oil can severely affect the performance of your car and waste a lot of gas.  Change it regularly and use the best oil for your make and model.

 

If you’re stuck in traffic chill out and hang with the trucks.  You’ve probably noticed that they roll along and don’t brake as much, yes?  That’s because they don’t want to shift those 10 gears but, if you do the same, you’ll save fuel and your brakes over stopping and starting constantly.

 

So now that you have them get out there and use these tips to save gas and money at the pump. Enjoy!

 

 

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