Gas Saving Tips - Pass the Pump or Pass the Buck

by : Mike Eggert

Unless you have been living under a rock and don't own a car, you have definitely noticed the rising cost of gasoline. Wild price fluctuations are a daily occurrence at the gas pumps.

We could debate the causes, or lack thereof, for an eternity. I have just as many opinions about the situation as the next person. But, unfortunately all the arguing over this topic won't change a thing. So, what can you do you ask? Well, there are many things that can be done to improve your fuel economy and improve your gas mileage. We'll take a look at a few of the most obvious in a moment. Aside from that, do all you can to reduce your dependency on gasoline today, and the difference will be noticed by everyone tomorrow. The only thing that can lower gas prices permanently is if there is a significant reduction in demand. Until then, expect more of the same high prices at the pump.

*Try to drive less, especially on very hot days or during peak traffic periods when you will end up sitting in traffic for longer periods of time.

*Try to riding the bus whenever possible. Or perhaps ride your bicycle, or walk to your destination. Your body will appreciate the exercise.

* Do as much of your shopping as possible by telephone, or on the Internet.

* If your job allows it, telecommute. Even one or two days a week will really add up.

* Don't make unnecessary trips. Try to combine your errands into a single outing.

* Avoid letting your car idle for extended periods of time. Anything over 30 seconds is unnecessary.

* Instead of waiting in long drive through line at the bank or fast food restaurants, park your car and go in the lobby. You will get a bit of healthy exercise this way as well.

* Don't accelerate more rapidly than necessary, and use your cruise control whenever you are on the highway.

* Read your owners manual, and follow the recommendations within it. No one knows better the potential for saving fuel in your vehicle than the manufacturer.

* Use motor oils that are labeled as energy conserving.

* Whenever it is possible try to limit the use of your air conditioner. An air conditioner creates a significant drag on your engine, impacting your fuel economy severely.

* Replace your spark plugs, and have regular tune-ups performed. Check your owner's manual for recommendations.

* Check and replace your air filter regularly. A dirty air filter can have a large impact on your performance and fuel mileage.

* Have your front end alignment checked and adjusted if necessary. If your front wheels are out of alignment, it is akin to your car trying to make a left turn and a right turn at the same time, creating tremendous drag and rolling resistance on your vehicle.

*Check and adjust the air pressure in your tires to the recommended pressure rating. Again, this can cause unnecessary drag and resistance on your vehicle.

* Try to fill your gas tank during the cooler evening hours if it is possible. Filling your tank when it is hot increases the evaporation of the fuel in your tank. And be sure to replace your gas cap tightly for the same reason.

*If you service engine, or check engine light is on, have your vehicle checked by a certified automotive technician as soon as possible. Many malfunctions that can cause those warning lamps can also cause a drastic reduction in fuel economy.

Most of these tips are simply common sense, and honestly each one individually might not make that large of a difference in your fuel mileage, but added all together these tips can certainly make a noticeable difference in your fuel economy and help you save gas. Don't pass your bucks, pass the pump instead.