Save Gas Money With These Five Tips

by Jennifer Bowers

It is still very much possible to save some money while gassing up. The best way to save money on gas starts with changing your driving habits before you arrive at the pump.

Some people would shut off their engines or make turns without the use of power to save on gas costs - this isn't safe to do. You don't have to do anything that's potentially unsafe to save gas. These are simple, safe ways to conserve gas and save money:

Refrain from idling with the motor turned on. If you dash into a convenience store, don't leave the motor running. Turn it off as well if you're driving to school to pick up your children. Park your car and get some exercise by walking to the school or soccer field. This is also a good way to stay in shape.

When driving to work or to school or to buy groceries, find out the route that would save you the most gas. You may save on distance by taking Main Street, but not on gas with all those traffic lights. Instead, you can take a back route at a slower pace but save some gas in the process.

Plan multiple stops along the way. Think twice before jumping into the car to drive across town for a $5 savings. The prices of gas are high enough as it is to make driving to a sale price more costly than spending the normal price at your regular gas station.

Slide, don't slam. Take it nice and easy and let your car decelerate slowly but surely until it moves to a stop. Let gravity work in your favor instead of racing to the light only to slam on the brake. You'll only end up wasting gas and wearing your tires out.

A well-maintained car operates more efficiently on less gas. Tune your engine and have your oil changed regularly. Using the right type of oil at the proper levels could save a lot of money on your gas expenses.

And in the event that your engine has difficulty running properly, you can have it scanned to ensure that there are no problems with the ignition, fuel pump and valve timing. A regular tune-up routine is more affordable than spending more on gas due to the added wear and tear caused by not having the car tuned up.

Drive gently. Regardless of the type of car you drive, if you make adjustments to the way you drive, you can improve your mileage and cut down on gas costs. Don't race away from the traffic light - instead, make a gradual acceleration. When going downhill, let gravity instead of gas power the descent. Minimize use of the AC. Make sure you have released all hot air from your car before opting for air conditioning.

And when you make the next trip to the pump, take note of how much the gas costs per gallon, how much you gassed up, and the total mileage on your vehicle. You need to monitor the gas usage to evaluate which gas saving techniques work best for your vehicle.

You can also watch the prices of gas stations on your regular driving route. The same brand name station on the main street or highway entrance is usually more expensive per gallon than the station that's a few blocks off the main route.

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