Tips To Save Money On Gas
Tips To Save Money On Gas
Posted on June 12, 2023
Let's be honest, nowadays gas is expensive and unfortunately, it is often an uncontrollable expense to get you from point A to point B. There are a few things any driver can do to help reduce fuel consumption, therefore limiting the number of trips to the gas station.
Here are 9 tips to save money on gas:
1. Accelerate Gently
The harder your accelerate, the more fuel you burn. Ease onto the gas pedal. To save even more, when you start moving after a stop, ease up to about 20km/h before accelerating faster - especially in the city! The best trick to do this is to picture an open cup of hot coffee or tea on your dashboard. If you accelerate too fast you'll end up with hot coffee in your lap! Go slow and you won't burn yourself.
2. Avoid Hard Braking
When you're driving, you gain forward momentum. The harder you brake, the harder your vehicle is fighting this and actually burns more gas. Depending on traffic, you can usually see red lights or stopped traffic well in advance. When this happens, try taking your foot off the gas pedal and coast to slow down. This way, when you do eventually use your brakes, your vehicle won't have as much momentum to fight in order to stop.
Giving yourself proper distance between other cars and looking far enough ahead at what's to come is and imagining what they will do next will also help you avoid heard braking and save fuel.
3. Use Cruise Control
Constantly changing speeds is hard on gas - even if it's by 1km/h! Studies performed by Natural Resources Canada show that varying speeds can increase your fuel consumption by up to 20%. When you can, use cruise control to keep a constant speed. This will help keep your vehicle's engine operating within one gear and eliminates the added fuel consumption required to "get up and go" or fight gravity to slow down.
Think of it this way, when you go for a run at one specific pace you can run a lot further and longer before needing to stop. However if you start at a job, then sprint for a few minutes, and slow back down to a job you are more likely to burn yourself out quicker. The same goes for your vehicle fuel consumption.
4. Slow Down
It's proven that high speeds are terrible for gas mileage. Most cars and SUVs are designed to optimize fuel consumption when travelling between 50-80 km/h. Anytime you're driving above, vehicles typically use more gas the faster you go and often doesn't save travel time.
Did you know, your vehicle uses approximately 20% more fuel when traveling 120km/h than 100km/h? The average time saved when traveling 120km verses 100km/h is 2 minutes. Next time you're considering speeding, ask yourself if the 2 minutes is worth the extra 20% of gas burned.
5. Avoid Idling
Waiting in the car for someone? Turn your vehicle off! A study by Natural Resources Canada shows that the average 3-litre engine will waste over 1 cup of fuel for every 10 minutes it idles. Even idling for 10 seconds can burn more fuel than it takes to start it!
Prolonged idling is not recommended, however it is still recommended to let your engine warm up before driving it- especially in cold weather! Still give your vehicle the opportunity to warm up prior to driving as it can avoid other mechanical issues later.
6. Check Your Tire Pressure
Driving with under-inflated tires can increase fuel consumption by up to 4%. Even if they are under-inflated by the slightest amount! This is due to the increase drag you are creating with under-inflated tires. You can find the proper tire pressure in the driver's door jam.
7. Restrict Air Conditioning Use
Air conditioning can increase a vehicle's fuel consumption as much as 20%! This doesn't mean you can never use your vehicle's A/C, it just means on days where the weather isn't too hot, try opening your window and/or sunroof while driving instead of opting to turn on the A/C when driving in the city. Contrary to this, it actually negatively impacts your fuel consumption to drive on the highway with your windows down, and is better to turn on your A/C. Another option is to use the re-circulate option when using your A/C as it will minimize the impact of your gas consumption.
8. Don't Carry Unnecessary Weight
The heavier your vehicle is, the more fuel you burn. Did you know, fuel consumption increases by approximately 1% for every 25kg of weight your vehicle carries? Don't keep items like hockey equipment, lawn chairs, sand or strollers in your vehicle for extended periods of time. Also, make sure to remove seasonal add-ons like a bike rack in the winter or a ski rack in the summer as these added accessories will create unnecessary drag along with unnecessary weight.
9. Plan Your Trip
By planning your trip in advance comes with many perks all of which can help you save on gas. By using apps like Google Maps, Apple Maps, or Waze, you can avoid traffic jams or accidents and avoid sitting in traffic. Combining your errands can also be beneficial as a longer trip will also allow your vehicle to warm up to it's ideal running temperature making it more fuel efficient - seems backwards but it's true!