I admit I am one of those women who do not know much about cars – – mine is blue with four doors. I know that I am supposed to get the oil changed every 3,000 miles and I should not ignore lights on the dash or strange noises (oh, and steam) coming from under the hood. Beyond that, I am clueless about how my vehicle operates and how to make it operate more efficiently. I never paid much attention to the price of gasoline until it began to eat into my budget for designer shoes. I then decided I had better educate myself on how to save money on gasoline. Even as a woman, I am determined to learn as much as I can about fuel efficiency. However, some of the tips about saving money on gas were just too much trouble for me to save a few pennies – i.e. riding the slipstream (sounds dangerous too) or turning off the air conditioner (I would never get out of the vehicle because of frizzy hair).
I finally settled on several gas saving tips that I could live with in order to save a few pennies. In this economy, every penny counts when you are trying to keep up with the latest in designer shoes.
Keep tires inflated to the proper level – This one is not that difficult once you learn what PSI you should use for your specific tires and vehicle. I purchased a tire pressure gauge to check my tire pressure to save gas. Keeping the tire pressure at the correct level reduces friction to save fuel.
Replace air filters as needed – I am not sure I completely understand why but having clean air filters helps maintain the proper fuel mix and results in better gas mileage. My mechanic friend told me that you do not need to change it each time you have the oil changed even though they will suggest it to charge you more. He said if you do not have someone you could trust to check the air filter contact the vehicle manufacturer and ask what they suggest.
Combine trips and do not backtrack – I admit I did not even think twice about jumping in my car every time I needed (or thought I needed) something. I would run from one end of town to the other without a thought about planning my route to save fuel. Now I make a list of everything I need to do and plan a route that creates as little backtracking as possible. I also do not run out every time I am out of something – – I do without until the next time I am out.
Put your car on a diet – I am also guilty of using my car as a rolling second home – – piling in clothes, shoes, books and just about everything else I need to live out of my car for a week. I even drove around for an entire year with an old coffee table in my trunk that I had decided to donate to Good Will. Extra weight uses more gas and costs you more money so clean out your car and dump the extra weight.
Save money at the fuel pump – I love a bargain so this is my favorite way to save money on gasoline. Look for a gas station that offers a reward’s program to save money on each gallon. One of our local grocery stores offers “cents off” per gallon for every $50 spent on groceries in their store. Paying with cash will often save you a few cents per gallon because owners do not have to pay the credit card charge so they pass the savings to their customers. If you use a credit card, switch to one that offers gas rewards to save money on fuel. Most importantly, do not buy a higher grade of gasoline than you car needs – – check the owner’s manual for the proper grade for your vehicle.