Wednesday, February 18

Fuel-Saving Tips from A Gas Station Owner

The owner of the gas station where I get my car serviced sends email occasionally, and this one came yesterday:

With gasoline (again) approaching $2.00+ per gallon we thought that we might pass on a few gas saving tips to help you reduce the cost of driving.

1. Drive with your windows and sunroof closed, this will make your vehicle more aerodynamic.
2. Remove any unnecessary items from your vehicle, tool kits, golf clubs, etc.- anything that adds weight to the vehicle.
3. If your car has a roof rack and you don't use it, remove it.
4. If you drive a manual transmission vehicle, change gears around 2000rpm to put less strain on your engine.
5. Avoid letting the engine warm up for several minutes, just drive gently for the first few minutes until the engine warms up.
6. No "jackrabbit" starts and stops, start gently and smoothly. Take your foot off of the accelerator well in advance of a stop, let the car slow itself down (when practical).
7. Check your tire pressure monthly, properly inflated tires will give you better mileage, however, do not over inflate as this will wear the tires out prematurely.
8. Avoid checking your mirrors, going thru the glove box, or any other actions after starting the vehicle. Only crank the engine when you are ready to drive.
9. Avoid as many short trips as possible, plan trips so several things can be accomplished while you are out.
10. This may sound crazy coming from a gas station, but keep between 1/4 and 3/4 tank of fuel, by doing this you will be reducing the amount of weight in the vehicle, remember gas weighs around 10 pounds per gallon.
11. Avoid extended times when the engine is at idle, turn the engine off and then restart it.
12. Determine if it is practical to car-pool.
13. Driving over 60 mph greatly increases fuel consumption.
14. Change the oil every 3000 miles or 3 months, whichever comes first. Dirty oil increases friction and reduces fuel mileage.
15. Follow your service manual for correct service intervals.
16. Use cruise control whenever practical.

Do you do these? Is there anything else that you do to save on car expense?


Gilly said...

I have to say, being from the UK when fuel is far more expensive than in the US, I have been doing all those things for ages!! She says,smugly!!

No, truly, they do work. Why throw away money?

Kay Dennison said...

I do some of them but then I use less than a tank of gas per month. And when you live in Ohio, you have to let your car warm up while you're scraping off the ice and snow so you can see to drive!
LOL (sigh)

bobbie said...

I try hard to do them all. It gets difficult to persuade my son to take the time to change oil, etc. often enough. But then, I don't really drive all that much any more.

Tabor said...

I try to do most of these. I wonder if the 60 MPH remains true with newer cars and more efficient engines?

Evil Twin's Wife said...

I only drive, on a typical day, 3.7 miles. Pretty sad, huh? But, I do start the car and just drive instead of letting it "warm up".

Ark Patti said...

I was amazed when the price got near $4.00 a while back that by reducing my speed to 55 miles an hour(I mean,that is the speed limit isn't it) that I proudly went from 27 to 30 MPG. Need to be better on the tire thing though. All good measures. Thanks.

Joy Des Jardins said...

I do most of these and really try to stay on top of things ever since I've gotten my Prius. I've learned a lot of little fuel-saving tips even with a hybrid. I love that car.

Mojo said...

Tune ups and air filter maintenance help a lot too. More efficient burning not only saves fuel, it reduces emissions.

Dianne said...

I do most of these things too

sensible advice

Grannymar said...

My nine year old car sailed through the MOT on Monday. I watched as the guy put her up on the ramp and smiled as she gleamed like new!

The journey this morning of 125 miles to visit Elly was smooth and easy.

I must be doing something right!

tiff said...

So, because I'm constantly in danger of running out of gas (or so it seems), I'm doing something RIGHT?


Ole Phat Stu said...

If it's less than a mile, I walk there; good for the old ticker too!

For longer stuff, I prefer to use a motorcycle (although I'm 65 this year).

rosemary said...

We do a lot of these saving things....will share the others with Steve. Gas is sitting at 1.99 here....ready to jump the fence.

Darlene said...

Since I no longer drive I will have to leave it up to the rest of you to save the planet and money.

PI said...

We pretty well do most of these and as our mileage is very low now and I walk whenever possible I feel fairly virtuous. Makes a change:)
And we got rid of my car.

Maria said...

A reminder of these fuel-saving tips is great. For me the wisest thing was buying the Smart Car. I get about 48 miles to the gallon. (Less of course in town). Gas is always higher here in California and now the State is planning to tax it even more.

amarkonmywall said...

I hadn't gotten to lightening the load in the car yet- I'm still running around turning off lights and not letting the water run while I brush my teeth. :-)

Anonymous said...

Tabor--The advice about staying at or below 60 mph has to do with the fact that aerodynamic drag increases by the square of the velocity. 55 mph is better than 60 mph, decreasing drag by 19%. Aerodynamic drag isn't the whole story, of course...there are considerations of friction among the drive train parts and friction between tires and pavement; but, speed reduction is a pretty reliable way to increase gasoline mileage. Also..."timing" your driving to avoid stopping at control lights helps.

The listing gave me a hiccup at a couple of points:
1) not only does over-inflation of tires increase wear, but so does under-inflation...just in a different area of the tread.
2) Gasoline does not weigh 10 pounds/gallon. It weighs about 6.22 pounds/gallon.

Anonymous said...

Oops! I got caught up in detail and failed to sign the previous comment. It was by...
Cop Car

Jamie Dawn said...

I hate for gas prices to rise again. I know it is so hard on everyone's bank account to have to shell out those extra cents per gallon. I sure hope gas prices do not keep going up. It makes people grouchy.

I don't do most of those things, but I probably should.

whimsical brainpan said...

All good tips. I do most of them.

Gas is already above $2 here, has been for a couple of weeks now. :-/

OldOldLady Of The Hills said...

I haven'r been driving in quite a long time, but there were some I would do when I was driving. And some of the others are certainly good advice. The traffic is so horrible here in Los Angeles that one gets stuck in traffic quite often....I'm not sure it would be too practical to keep turning the car off and on again in that particular situation, but for longer idling periods that sure sounds like a good thing to do.
I love that it was the Gas Station that sent you that email....! THAT kind of personal attention has been long long gone from this area....! I miss ut, I must say.