Family Service Agency’s Consumer Credit Counseling Service
Contact: Keesha Parker 479-484-0311
Smart Gas Saving Tips
Fort Smith, AR – With the cost of gas so high and apparently staying that way, everyone is feeling the effect on their monthly budget.
Family Service Agency’s Consumer Credit Counseling Service suggests the following tips for saving gas with your vehicle.
Avoid Excessive Idling - You get zero miles per gallon when idling, and the larger the engine the more fuel wasted. If the line at the bank, pharmacy or fast food restaurant is long, park the car and go inside. When waiting for that accident to get cleared or the drawbridge to re-open, shut off the engine.
Avoid fast starts - Aggressive driving (rapid acceleration and braking) wastes gas. It can lower your gas mileage dramatically, by up to 30% or more (or up to the equivalent of 90 cents per gallon*).
Observe The Speed Limit - Yes, you might feel like you are getting run over, especially on the Interstate, but fast driving lowers fuel economy dramatically. You can figure roughly that every 5 MPH over 60 MPH costs you an additional $.20 per gallon*.
Reduce Trips and Consolidate Errands - A little planning goes a long way. By using your vehicle less, you not only save on gas, but on all the other costs of operating it, including tires, oil changes, tune-ups, as well as depreciation and insurance. So plan your trips wisely. Shop the internet before you drive to the store, especially if the trip is to just look at a new TV, appliance or whatever.
Check and Replace Filters - A clogged air filter can damage your engine and decrease gas mileage by up to 10%, that is like paying and extra $.30 a gallon*. Also have your fuel and oil filters checked and changed at regular intervals.
Keep Your Engine Tuned - An engine that is not tuned properly can waste as much as 40% of your gas. Follow the manufacturer’s directions in your owners manual and if you hear, feel or smell something "funny", have your engine checked right away. Fuel ratios, spark plug timing and condition can all dramatically affect gas mileage.
Tires - Check the air pressure often (this is not only a gas saving tip, but a safety tip). Low air pressure can reduce mileage, and worse, cause the tire to heat up and blow. Keep your tires rotated and aligned. Tires that are out of alignment can cause drag and they wear faster costing you money for new tires prematurely.
Cut Wind Resistance - Got a roof rack or carrier? Take it off unless you need it, it adds weight and wind resistance. Driving a pickup? Take the gate off when possible, they can reduce mileage by up to 30%. Got that little flag flying from the antenna or back window? Use a decal instead.
Use the Correct Grade of Fuel - Many people think that they need Premium when Regular will do just fine, especially owners of "fast" cars. Again, read the owners manual and use the recommended fuel. Also, be careful in areas of the country selling fuel with Ethanol, be sure your engine is approved to run on E85 fuel or you could cause engine damage.
Don't top off your tank - Stop filling when the automatic shut off engages. Filling the tank up to the filler cap can lead to spilling some fuel, thus wasting it and doing a small part to harm the environment.
Watch Your Feet (what is he talking about?) - Keep that left foot off the brake, it not only will cause drag thus reducing gas mileage, it also wears your brakes out much faster (costing you money).
Use Your Cruise Control - This keeps the engine running efficiently. Slowing down and then speeding up repeatedly will waste fuel, the amount is hard to figure but logic tells us that accelerating burns extra fuel.
Clean out your vehicle - Excess weight can add up. Hauling around an extra 100 pounds can reduce mileage a percent or two depending on the weight of the vehicle, but every little bit adds up. Even a 2% loss in efficiency is like paying $.06 more per gallon*
Buy a smaller car - Don't go out and dump the gas hog for a high mileage car just to get better mileage. The payback may take years since buying a new car may cost your sales tax, higher insurance, etc. But if the old buggy is ready for a new home then consider a smaller, more efficient vehicle if it will still fit your needs.
Use Public Transportation, Walk, or Ride Your Bike - This tip again not only saves fuel, but wear and tear on your vehicle, and, you get a little exercise to boot. Take a walk to the store, you may see things in your neighborhood you have missed while driving your 2 ton behemoth that 1/4 mile to the grocery, or put a basket on the old bike and starting peddling, again you may enjoy the scenery a lot more.
* Savings are based on $3.00 per gallon for gas.
- Find relief through the Family Service Agency’s Consumer Credit Counseling Service. If you find that saving gas is still not getting your budget to balance consider contacting Family Service Agency’s Consumer Credit Counseling Service. From financial education to debt management services, Family Service Agency’s Consumer Credit Counseling Service has certified credit counselors who offer low-cost and free financial educational information, money management advice and debt reduction services.
Family Service Agency
Consumer Credit Counseling Service
5111 Rogers Avenue, Suite 553
Fort Smith, AR 72903