10 Simple Steps to Save Gas and Improve Gas Mileage

About this time last year, when the national average price of gasoline was over $4 per gallon, many of us were obsessed with trying to squeeze as many miles as possible out of each tank of gas. 

For a while though, as gas prices fell almost as rapidly as they climbed, many of us seemed to stop caring as much about continuing to conserve gas.  After all, it’s much easier to look the other way when it costs only $20 to fill up when compared to the $45 it cost just six months earlier.

However, with the economy continuing to crumble, the job market getting worse by the day, and money getting tighter for the average family, it seems like now would be a good time to revisit those gas saving tips we tried so hard to learn last spring and summer.

[Read more…]

Walking or Riding a Bike More? Thanks Gas Prices!

With gasoline prices being about 40% higher than what they were last year, it should come as no surprise that many of us have started to significantly reduce the amount we drive.

That being said, it’s not like we’re not still going to the store, or taking a short trip over to a friend’s house. We’re just taking alternate forms of transportation.

Based on a recent poll, it appears as if many of us have become reacquainted with two of the oldest forms of transportation: walking and riding a bicycle.

For the past two weeks, I’ve had a poll up on Daily Fuel Economy Tip which asked the following: “Are you walking and/or riding a bike more due to higher gas prices?” Here’s how the responses broke down:

  • 49% stated they are walking/riding more thanks to high gas prices
  • 48% stated they are not walking/riding more
  • 3% stated they were unsure

Even over the last couple of weeks, it seems to me that my morning commute is far less crowded and there are more people walking or riding their bicycles to work on the paths adjacent to the roads I’m on.

In fact, on several occasions, I’ve taken my bike into work as well – 8 to 10 miles each way, depending on which path I take – something I never would have thought to do if high gasoline prices weren’t starting to affect my bottom line.

It will be interesting to see how these numbers change as the major car manufacturers adjust to the fact we no longer have a significant demand for trucks, SUVs and other gas guzzlers, and start producing more fuel efficient vehicles.

However, because we’re in the midst of a relatively seismic shift in energy/environmental awareness, even with more gas friendly cars available, it wouldn’t surprise me if the number of people walking and/or riding more continues to increase for an extended period of time.

Maybe we can knock out our energy and obesity problems at the same time!

Fuel Economy Tip – The Two Mile Rule

There is little doubt that the recent spike in the price of gasoline has caused many Americans to change their driving habits. Whether it’s a drastic change like picking up and moving, or a more subtle change like making sure to drive the speed limit, chances are pretty good that we’ve all done something to help offset higher gas prices.

One way many people have tried to reduce the pain at the pump is by walking or riding a bicycle when they need to take “short trips.”

Considering a large portion of our driving is done within a close proximity to our homes and places of employment, implementing this change into your life could considerably reduce the amount of money you pay for gasoline.

I know some of you out there think this is a waste of time and isn’t worth trying out. So, for those of you who are skeptical of making such a change, I’d like to present to you the argument for the “Two Mile Rule.”

Very simply, the Two Mile Rule says that, when safe, you either walk or ride your bike when you’re going some place within a two mile radius of your home, work, etc. The only exception to this rule would be if you absolutely needed your vehicle – e.g. you’re going to the grocery store and are picking up way too many items to carry home.

Here are the three main reasons why you should follow the Two Mile Rule:

  1. You’ll undoubtedly reduce your gasoline consumption. Obviously, if you’re not driving your car, you’re not going to be using gas. Also, short driving tends to be marred by lots of stop signs, traffic lights, and needless idling, all of which do a great job of sucking gas and reducing your fuel economy. And, like I said before, it’s likely that much of your driving consists of these short trips. If you can eliminate these trips, you should see a significant savings.
  2. Less wear and tear on your vehicle. It doesn’t take a degree in mechanical engineering to know that the more you drive your car, the more wear and tear you put it through. So, if you can reduce the number of miles you drive, you should expect to increase your vehicle’s lifespan, which over the time you own the vehicle, could save you thousands of dollars in repairs, insurance and vehicle replacement cost.
  3. You’ll end up in much better shape. In addition to the health benefits, by losing weight you’ll increase your vehicle’s fuel economy when you do have to get behind the wheel. As you probably already know, for every extra 100 pounds you carry around in your car, you reduce its gas mileage by 2%. So, if you can find a way to lose 25 pounds by being more active (assuming you need to lose the weight), you should see a slight increase in fuel economy.

Over the last couple of weeks, I’ve started to incorporate the Two Mile Rule into my driving routine. Whenever possible I try to walk or ride my bike. I’ve even started riding my bike 16 miles round trip to and from work. A bit outside the two mile radius, I know.

While it was a pain when I first started, I’m certainly glad I kept with it. I feel like I’m in much better shape, I’ve dropped eight pounds and I’ve been able to add a couple of days to each tank of gas. And, considering my car’s starting to get up there in age, I’m hoping that I’m extending its lifespan as well.

On that note, give the Two Mile Rule a try. Your bank account, car and body will thank you.

SEO Powered By SEOPressor