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Beat the Pump! How to Get Better Gas Mileage

Thursday, August 23rd, 2012
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We are all looking for ways to cut down costs and save money. But with the rising gas prices and growing fuel shortage, sometimes people are choosing to stay home. However, there are many ways to reduce your fuel costs without sacrificing your summer vacation.

Combine Errands

How can you get the most out of your gas mileage? One of the easiest solutions is to combine all your errands into one trip instead of several smaller ones. When you leave your car idling or are constantly turning it off and on, this reduces the efficiency of your vehicle as well as increasing the amount of gas you will need to accomplish all your tasks.

Carpool

You can also reduce your gas mileage in your professional life. Find out if any other coworkers live in your area and start a carpool. Not only could you start one for work, but also for church, school, and any other event you attend regularly. Splitting up a tank of gas is a great deal cheaper between four or five people than for only you. If a carpool is not an option for you, consider using public transit systems if there is one available in your area.

Check Your Tires

The state of the tires on your car can be a large determining factor in your gas mileage savings. The American Automobile Association (AAA) did a study on 57,000 cars and found that 43% of them had tires that were either worn out, uneven, or not properly inflated. Properly inflated tires are much safer for you and your passengers and also last longer.

Maintain Your Vehicle

In addition to checking your tires, it is also very important to maintain your vehicle in order to beat the pump. In the study mentioned earlier, AAA also found that almost 30% of the vehicles they checked had loose belts or insufficient oil levels. Using the correct oil and getting your oil changed regularly is a large part of maintaining your vehicle. Using good synthetic engine oil can aid in your car’s efficiency leading to better gas mileage overall.

Watch Your Speed

Another important tip is to drive sensibly. We are already told to obey all traffic laws and drive at a safe and reasonable speed at all times. That being said, observing the speed limit and being consistent in your speed ensures better gas mileage. Using cruise control is also a good idea to maintain your speed while driving.

Choose the Right Credit Cards

Many gas stations charge a premium fee for people who pay with credit cards. If you want to save, make sure the gas station you choose charges the same for cash and credit. Many gas stations have discount cards that you can swipe at the pump that can build up points that will save you on gas.

Additionally, some credit and debit card companies also provide discounts on fuel when using their cards to fill up. Discover, Capital One, and Chase Freedom offer driver’s reward prices anywhere from 1% to 5% of what they spend on gas costs. In addition to discounts on gas mileage, some credit card companies also double reward you with credit card points.

 Stephanie Ng is a financial writer who encourages drivers to find creative ways to save money at the pump, but who still enjoys a good Sunday drive. Women: start your engines!


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