While gas prices aren’t as bad as they were back in 2011 when they were over $4 a gallon, no one likes going to the gas station because filling the tank is still expensive. If you’re trying to save money at the pump, here are six easy things you can do to save some green when you fill up your tank.
Skip the Pump on Thursday
Most of us aren’t thinking about filling up on a Thursday, anyway — it’s the day before payday for most people — but if you happen to have an extra $20 and need gas, try not to visit the pump on a Thursday. To cash in on the people getting ready to travel on the weekend, most gas stations raise their prices on Thursday and keep them high throughout the weekend. Unless you can’t avoid it, save your trips to the gas station for Monday through Wednesday.
No Road Rage
You may have been taught to drive aggressively to stay safe on the road, but braking hard, accelerating quickly and driving fast, in general, can all cost you more at the pump. If you drive calmly, allow your car to coast instead of braking hard and stick to the speed limit, experts estimate that you can save between 33 and 38 percent on fuel.
Ditch the Premium
Unless your car requires premium fuel — and only about 475 models do — then paying for premium is just driving up your monthly fuel budget. Your car doesn’t benefit from using premium gasoline, so you can save yourself quite a bit by using regular — or whatever your car’s owner’s manual calls for.
Pump It Up
How often do you check your tire pressure? If you’re like most people, the answer is “not often enough.” If your tires aren’t properly inflated, you could be costing yourself more at the pump. Keep your tires inflated to the proper PSI (pounds per square inch) as detailed in your owner’s manual. When your tires are adequately inflated, it’s beneficial for more than just gas mileage — they hold to the road better, too, increasing your car’s traction and handling.
Schedule a Tune Up
Basic car maintenance can do more than keep your car running smoothly — it can save you some money at the pump. Stick to your car’s maintenance schedule as outlined in the owner’s manual. Even a basic tune-up — oil change, air filter, spark plugs, etc. — can increase your car’s gas mileage and save you money at the pump.
Try Not to Idle
Letting your car idle, whether you’re warming it up in the morning or stuck in bumper-to-bumper traffic, eats up more fuel than you might think. Don’t let your car idle any longer than it has to. If you’re stuck in traffic that doesn’t look like it’ll be moving anytime soon, just shut the engine off. The same thing goes for heavy equipment or even your lawnmower — if you’re not moving and won’t be for a while, shut the engine off. It uses less fuel to restart the engine than it does just to leave it idling.
It doesn’t take much to improve the fuel economy of your car — or anything else with an engine. Drive smart, keep up with your maintenance and don’t forget to shut the engine off instead of letting it idle. Follow these tips, and you’ll be good to go!