Gas Mileage Tips
Helping you get better gas mileage, save money on fuel, find more efficient cars, and be kinder to the environment.
Tuesday, November 15, 2005
Sunday, November 13, 2005
The Easiest Way To Get Up To 3% Better Gas Mileage
What simple, often-overlooked maintenance check can improve your gas mileage up to 3% and be critical to your driving safety? In this case, it really is a lot of hot air!
Your car's tires can't hold the car up by themselves. They're not that strong. You can collapse the sidewalls of a tire by standing on them, and you weigh a lot less than your car does. The real job of supporting the weight of your car is done by the pressurized air in the tires.
If your tires are underinflated (i.e. the air pressure is too low) then you could be losing up to 3% of your gas mileage. Even worse, underinflation is the largest cause of tire failure, so your safety could also be at risk if your tire pressure is too low. Underinflated tires also tend to wear out faster and they can cause your car to handle poorly.
Even if your tires maintain their air pressure, you need to check that pressure regularly. Changes in the outdoor temperature can cause your tire pressure to change. A 10 degree Fahrenheit change in the outdoor temperature will cause your tire pressure to change by about one pound per square inch. As the thermometer drops in the fall and early winter, your tire pressure drops along with it and your tires will soon be below optimal pressure.
Get a good tire pressure gauge and check your tire pressure at least monthly. Check them when the tires are cold, not after you've driven the car for a long distance. The correct pressure for your tires should be in your owner's manual. If you don't find it there, open the driver's door and look for a sticker on the door jamb or on the back metal panel of the door. If you can't find the correct tire pressure, ask your car dealer. Don't go by the pressures listed on the tire sidewall -- those are usually average safe ratings for the tires and may not be optimum for your car. You may find that the recommended pressures for your front and rear tires are different. Make sure that all four tires are properly inflated for best gas mileage and safety.
Remember to check your tire pressure with an accurate tire gauge at least monthly. Overinflation can also be a problem because it can make your tires wear quickly and unevenly and it may make your car handle poorly. Keep your tires at the pressures your car's manufacturer recommends for best tire life and gas mileage.
Saturday, November 12, 2005
Save Gas With Creative Ride Sharing
Everyone knows about sharing the ride by carpooling to work, but what other ways can you save gas by ride sharing? Here are a few.
- Carpool to the grocery store with a neighbor. Find a neighbor who shops at the same grocery store and talk to them about sharing the ride and alternating the driving to save gas and money.
- Instead of one or two parents and one kid in the minivan going to the childs game, why not include another family on the team in the drive? Switch off who drives to the games.
- We never go to concerts or sporting events with an empty seat in the car. There are plenty of friends and neighbors going, so why not put one person in each seatbelt and save gas and money?
- If you and a neighbor have similar errand schedules, see if you can work out a Saturday morning (or whenever you do your errands) carpool arrangement.
- Save gas, save money, and save lives by having a designated driver for a night out on the town with friends.
Friday, November 11, 2005
Save Gas And Money By Sharing The Ride
Carpooling is probably one of the oldest gas saving ideas around. But how much money and gas can you really save by carpooling?
U.S. motorists drive an average of 43.5 miles a day. As reported earlier, U.S. autos average 21.0 miles per gallon of gasoline. That means that the average U.S. driver burns about 2.07 gallons of gas a day. At today's national average gas price of $2.34 per gallon, that costs about $4.84 a day.
In our example, let's say you share your commute with just one other co-worker and divide the driving between you. Let's also say that scheduling conflicts mean that one day a week you have to drive in separately, so you only carpool four days a week. Based on commuting 50 weeks a year (we're giving you two weeks for vacation) you would save over $480 dollars a year! Not only that, but your carpool buddy would save the same money, and together you would avoid burning 414 gallons of gas!
The savings are even bigger if you have more people in the carpool, but you can see how just sharing the commute with one other person can save you a significant amount of money and reduce gas usage and pollution.
Thursday, November 10, 2005
Choosing An Online Car Loan
If you're looking for a new, fuel efficient car, you'll probably also be looking for a car loan. Though you could apply for a car loan at a bank, a credit union, or the auto dealership itself, applying for a car loan through online channels has become a very popular option for many people.
The reason behind this is quite simple. Online car loans are easier to acquire. You won’t even have to leave the comforts of your own home to apply for one. Everything will be processed with digital efficiency and speed.
You could be presented with hundreds, if not thousands, of car loan offers online. It’s just a matter of choosing the best one for your needs. Here are some tips that would help you decide on the perfect car loan:
- Consider the applicable interest rates. Sometimes, because of our eagerness to own a car, we accept the first offer that is presented to us. This shouldn’t be the case. We should always remember that a loan is a loan, it has to be satisfied eventually. Owning the car you want is only the start of the obligation you have to undertake. So make sure that the loan has interest rates that would be beneficial for you.
- Consider the incidental fees as well. Some online car loans have other fees conditioned on the processing of the loan. You will probably want a loan agreement that only has a few of these.
- Consider the maturity date of the loan. Would it become due and demandable after a period that would be amenable to your budget? This factor really depends on how you would want to satisfy the loan. Would you want small monthly installments spread out over a longer period of time? Or would you want larger payments for a shorter loan term? A prior perusal of your budget and a determination of how it would fare in the coming months are essential in knowing the payment scheme that is right for you.
Wednesday, November 09, 2005
Save Money By Buying The Right Gas For Your Vehicle
Are you buying more expensive fuel than you need?
Your owners manual will tell you the correct gasoline octane for your vehicle. Most cars run fine on unleaded regular gas. Some high performance cars require premium octane gasoline, but if your car is running without engine knocks on regular, then buying the more expensive grades of gas is a waste of money.
Some people claim that their cars get better gas mileage on mid-grade or premium gas. That may or may not be the case, but even if your car does get better mileage on a higher grade of gas, you need to compare the higher cost of the gasoline against any improvement in mileage and figure out whether it's really worth it. Sometimes people expect to get better mileage with premium gas and they unconsciously drive with a lighter foot on the accelerator and at a lower speed, so they get better mileage but they would have gotten the same mileage with regular gas.
Check your owner's manual and save money by putting the right grade of gasoline in your car.
Tuesday, November 08, 2005
U.S. Gas Mileage Is Getting Worse!
The Environmental Protection Agency recently released their annual report on gas mileage trends, and it doesn't look good.
According to the report, the gas mileage of "light duty" vehicles (cars, SUVs, and pickup trucks) is actually going down! The EPA report shows that average gas mileage for these vehicles peaked at 22.1 miles per gallon in 1987. In 2005 it's down to 21.0 miles per gallon. This is in spite of the recent introduction of high gas mileage vehicles like hybrids. Evidently Americans have been choosing to buy and drive cars that are larger, heavier, faster, and more powerful, despite their poor gas mileage.
The EPA report points out that our trend toward lower gas mileage vehicles directly affects U.S. national energy security, air quality, and harmful greenhouse gas emissions.
If you're looking for a new vehicle, remember to take gas mileage into consideration in your choice. Remember that you probably will get lower real world mileage than the EPA rating though. It's much easier to plan for good gas mileage up front by selecting a fuel efficient vehicle than it is to try to adapt an inefficient vehicle to try to get good gas mileage.
Shop Around For Lowest Gas Prices
Gas prices at the stations on my daily drive dropped over the past few weeks, but then bounced up a few cents. When I noticed that the national average gas prices were still dropping I started wondering if gas prices were starting to equalize in my area. Our prices have been below the national average for awhile. It turns out that's not what's happening!
On a trip to visit family about 20 miles away I watched the gas prices. They were lower than the prices on my heavily-traveled commuting route. In fact, they were up to 20 cents per gallon cheaper!
As obvious as it is to shop around for the lowest gas prices, sometimes it's worth it to drive a small distance out of your way to save money on fuel. Refer to the Finding Cheapest Gas Prices article to see how to find the cheapest gas in your area without having to waste gas driving around.