If there’s a line of cars in the drive-thru at Starbucks or McDonald’s, just park and go inside. The line inside is often much shorter anyway.
While you’re at it, combine errands to conserve fuel. Several short trips from a cold start can consume twice as much gas as one over the same distance when the engine is warm, according to the Federal Trade Commission.
3. Shop smarter.
Smartphones make it easier than in past years to find the best prices in a given location. Websites like GasBuddy.com and some GPS devices also help. Apps from AAA, GasBuddy and CheapGas all can guide you to the cheapest options on your route.
Just be wary of ads hawking products that can improve your mileage. The Environmental Protection Agency says it has tested more than 100 purported gas-saving products – automotive devices and oil and gas additives – and found that very few provided any fuel economy benefits. Some can even damage your car’s engine or cause it to spew more exhaust.
Track your gasoline expenses and miles driven and view your trends at http://www.FuelFrog.com .
4. Fill up the tank midweek.
Gas up on Wednesday, or first thing Thursday. Prices are raised on Thursdays in anticipation of weekend travel. And 10 a.m. is roughly when most station owners make their price change for the day, according to CEO Chris Faulkner of Dallas-based Breitling Oil & Gas Corp.
“Unless it is an emergency, do not buy gas Friday, Saturday or Sunday,” Faulkner says.
5. Do regular maintenance.
Keep your vehicle running smoothly to get maximum fuel economy. Stick to the manufacturer’s recommended maintenance schedule. Taking the car in for tuneups based on the owner’s manual’s timetable can improve mileage by an average of 4 percent, according to the Energy Department.
A simple but often overlooked part of maintenance is keeping tires properly inflated and aligned. Underinflated tires add resistance, requiring more effort from your engine.
Using the recommended grade of motor oil also can make a difference.<< previous 1 2 3 4 next >>