Archive for the ‘Tips’ Category

My Car Says Premium Only. Can I Still Save Any Money?

August 13, 2008

Is Premium Gas Worth the Extra Cash?

Even though gas prices have dropped slightly we still are in search of any way possible to save a bit of cash. And many of us drive cars that make have higher performance engines that say they need premium grade gasoline instead of regular. So what can we do to get a break? We can use regular grade gasoline. The recommendation in car owner’s manuals for the driver to use premium is in regard to engine performance. But using regular grade gasoline can save you as much as twenty cents a gallon while only giving up at maximum five percent performance from your engine. It’s a sacrifice so slight you won’t even notice it.

So in Dollars and Cents This Means What?

If you take into account that the price difference between the regular grade gasoline and the ultra premium grade is as much as twenty cents a gallon you will already see a savings the first time you fill up. That will add up to four dollars a fill up. If you fill up four times a month that comes out to sixteen dollars a month just by switching to regular grade gasoline. Those savings can add up to one hundred and ninety-two dollars a year. That may not sound like a lot but combining this with other gas saving tips can really make a difference in your gas consumption as well as your wallet.

Consolidate Your Errands To Save Gas

August 12, 2008

This is Also Known as “Does Anyone Need Anything While I’m Out?”

The old saying that “you shouldn’t put off until tomorrow what could be done today” can be tossed out the window when it comes to driving and running errands. If you have an errand that has to be done on a certain day and several others that can be done whenever you choose try doing them all on one trip with the scheduled errand. This will allow you to free up more time by taking only one trip. Plot out your course ahead of time to avoid back tracking and making unnecessary turns which will burn extra gas. Make sure you have the correct address and current phone number in case you get lost. You can burn a lot of extra fuel just driving around lost. And when you get there park in the first available parking spot. You can save gas by not driving around and around the parking lot hoping for an empty space by the door. The bonus is you will feel an extra sense of accomplishment by getting all of your errands done in one trip and with the savings in gas you can enjoy one of those fancy coffee drinks. And while you’re at it, treat yourself to the whipped cream on top. A little procrastination can really pay off.

How To Have a MPG Friendly Road Trip

August 11, 2008

Leave the Chrome at Home

Many of us love the fancy sport rims complete with the big wide tread tires but they can sadly be a MPG killer. When you change to these from your factory stock tires and rims it’s a good idea to keep the factory ones in your garage if you take any long road trips. When it’s time for your trip your car can have the tires changed very inexpensively or even free at many tire shops. This change in your cars’ apparel will yield a smoother ride with a higher MPG rating.

Set the Car to Cruise

Cruise control is a real MPG saver. It prevents you from accelerating above the speed you select which means you can travel down the road without worrying so much about the MPG you are losing. We know they uneven acceleration can burn gas at a higher rate but uneven pressure on the gas pedal can do it too. And setting your cruise control to the speed limit or just below keeps you out of hot water with the local highway patrol.

Hang With the Big Rigs

If you drive in stop and go traffic or get caught in a traffic jams a lot this tip will save you big time. The next time you are caught in traffic watch the cars around you closely. You will have the stop and go speed demons who race to consume what little space becomes available. But if you turn your attention to the far right hand lane, or the so called “slow lane” you will see the enlightened drivers who know a secret. You will see that lane full of big rigs as well as drivers saving MPG. What’s the secret? They don’t burn extra gas by rapidly starting and stopping every time the traffic moves. Semi drivers have to be extra careful with the rate at which they accelerate. It takes a lot longer for them to gain speed and it also takes a lot longer distance for them to come to a stop. Truck drivers are much more inclined to roll along in heavy traffic. You can take your cue from them and roll along in traffic congestion. Your trip really won’t take any longer and you will enjoy the savings.

Back In The Good Old Days

August 7, 2008

Almost Time For a Little 2/40 Air Conditioning

With the temperatures in the triple digits across much of the country this tip may not work right now but it’s good to keep in mind for those cooler days that are just around the corner. When I was a kid nothing made me happier than going most anywhere with my grandfather in his pickup. He used to roll down the windows and say that it was “time for 2/40 air conditioning”. He explained that it was two windows down at forty miles an hour. Even though that was years ago and it was meant as a joke to amuse a kid he was onto something. If you do much of your driving at lower speeds and the weather is nice try rolling down the windows or opening the sunroof and enjoying the outdoors. Not only will you save MPG and money at the pump but you will get the added benefit of fresh air. Keep in mind that this method won’t really be effective on the highway where higher speeds and more resistance can pose a problem. But if you drive with the windows down in town you can afford to run your air conditioning on the highway. Just be sure to keep a comb handy for those windy days and the overalls my grandfather wore are definitely optional.

Walk Your Way to More MPG and a Healthier You

This is not a popular opinion to have on a car website I’m sure but it does save MPG and your hard earned cash. Our family in fortunate enough to live close enough to the kids’ school that we can walk to and from on all the days that the weather cooperates. It turns out to be only about a mile each way and the kids enjoy visiting with friends along the way and the dog enjoys the extra attention from all the neighborhood kids. That simple change has saved us about $220 a year at about 30 miles a gallon. And those savings come just from not driving to school every day. And the bonus is we all get the extra exercise that we all could use more of. If you make simple changes like walking to destinations in the neighbor your savings could really add up too. And who knows you might lose a few pounds as well.

How To Get The Family Involved (Otherwise Known As “Mom, Do I Have To?”)

August 4, 2008

How To Get The Kids In On The Act

With school getting back into full swing now is the perfect time to teach the kids a real life lesson in economics. First explain to the them the mechanics of extra cargo meaning loss of MPG. We all know that school brings extra activities and extra cargo and extra cargo means loss of MPG. Offer to increase their allowance with part of your savings at the pump if they remove the soccer equipment, basketball gear or whatever extra cargo they need to carry inside anyway. Show them the difference at the pump and explain that it adds up every time you visit the gas pump. They get the benefit of learning responsibility as well as economics and you get the benefit of not only fuel savings but a clean car to boot.

Let’s save some gas!!

July 30, 2008

As the national average for gas hovers around the $4 a gallon mark we all  are in search of ways to increase our MPG. A few simple tricks can really add up to saving gas and saving money. And who couldn’t use a little extra cash?

Drivers Slow Down Your Engines

We all have a little of the racecar driver in us. But when we resist that urge to accelerate quickly we save gas. Fast acceleration causes your car to work much harder thus burning more gas. And with that goes driving the speed limit. Maintaining a constant speed at or even slightly below the speed limit will yield significant results. It all goes back to making your car work less. And besides no one likes those pesky speeding tickets.

Be a Neat Freak

Every driver has been guilty of tossing things in the trunk of the car to put away later. Sometimes later is a long time away and that will unknowingly cost you at the pump. Keep only necessary items in the car like your spare and any emergency items you need. But remove anything else that’s not needed. Every little bit counts.

It’s Time For a Checkup

Proper maintenance goes a long way in improving your MPG. Proper tire pressure not only improves your mileage but makes for a smoother and safer ride. Check your car’s requirements for the correct amount needed. Oil changes along with filter changes are also crucial. Dirty oil and air filters make the engine work much harder robbing you of mileage.

Trying these few simple tips will yield noticeable results. Enjoy your extra MPG and your savings.