Paycheck Chronicles

Big Savings On Gas


As you may know, we've gone through some times when our family has spent an inordinate amount of money on gas.  Even though I'm now driving a super-efficient Prius, I'm still interested in learning how to keep our auto fuel bills down.  From USAA, some tips on lowering your gas consumption:

  • Drive efficiently. Follow the speed limit, make smooth starts and stops, and use cruise control.
  • Keep your car in shape. Get regular tune-ups, use the grade of motor oil the manufacturer recommends for your vehicle, and keep tires inflated to the proper pressure. The proper pressure for your vehicle is usually found on a sticker in the driver's-side doorjamb or the glove box, and in your owner's manual.
  • Plan and combine trips. Make several stops while the engine is warm; this uses less fuel than taking separate trips from a cold start.
Because my car is equipped with some serious fuel economy statistics, I can see a serious difference in how my driving affects my mileage.  If I just drive like the usual madman, I get between 45-50 miles per gallon.  With a little thought, I can easily achieve 50-55 miles per gallon.  My current tank is hovering just over 6o miles per gallon, and all I've done differently is that I have been conscientious about my starting, stopping, accelerating and braking.  Heck, if I can increase my gas mileage by 20%, I can cut my gas bill by 20%.  That's no small change, at least in my world.

I've read that some cars are now approaching 1oo miles per gallon, and that high standard will become more common in the next few years.  I am looking forward to the opportunity to save even more on gas.  In the meantime, you can use the tips listed above to improve your fuel efficiency regardless of your car.

Happy driving!

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