5 Simple Ways to Save Money on Gas


Aside from buying a new fuel-efficient vehicle or leaving the car at home and walking, there are plenty of techniques for going farther on less gasoline.

Slow and steady: Driver’s Ed class said it all when we were 16: No speeding. No sudden braking. The smoother and steadier the ride, the more efficient the fuel consumption. On the highway, cruise control saves fuel.

Less idling: A car that’s sitting still with its engine running is wasting gas. Hybrid models such as the Toyota Prius automatically turn off the gas engine when the car stops. For other cars, idling more than two minutes is expensive and damages the environment. In cold weather, block heaters help to get the car going quickly.

Reduce drag: A light car with low wind resistance goes farther on a dollar’s worth of gas. For vacations, pack sparingly. For every day, resist the urge to use the car as storage space. Open windows are also likely to create tremendous drag.

De-accessorize: The car’s extras consume fuel. Air-conditioning and heating are the two big offenders. Devices that plug into the cigarette lighter can also drain the system. Use only what you need.

Regular maintenance: Keep the car in good shape with regular maintenance. Change the oil and the air filter according to the manufacturer’s prescribed schedule. Use the appropriate grade of fuel for your vehicle, and maintain the tires at optimum pressure.