Saving Money on Gasoline

Fisher Swanson

With gas prices always fluctuating, it's good to review what you can do to limit your fuel consumption. The biggest and most important step towards saving money on gas is always try to purchase vehicles that get good gas mileage. Here are tips for saving money on gas with the car you currently have.

  1. Arrange a car pool with co-workers to share the cost of commuting to work. For more drivers, this is the best way to save the most money on gas. Not only are you sharing gas expenses with multiple people, you are also limiting the wear and tear on your vehicle. Some employers offer vans you can borrow if you can get enough people signed on to use it and many communities have vehicles you can barrow for this purpose as well.
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  2. Keep your car tuned up. Cars in poor running condition use more gasoline.

  3. Plan trips to avoid unnecessary driving.

  4. When you use your air conditioner you get much lower mileage so use it sparingly. Try using a lower setting if you have one. You also don't need your AC on full blast for extended periods of time. Turn the AC on until you feel cool enough, then turn the AC off and let the fan circulate the cool air. Turn it back on when you get too hot.

  5. Take unnecessary heavy items out of the car or truck. Extra weight effects your gas mileage.

  6. Check your tire pressure. Improperly inflated can reduce your fuel efficiency.

  7. Change your work start time to avoid gridlock or try leaving earlier than you normally would to limit time stuck in traffic.

  8. Drive steady and try to keep a constant speed. The more your speed fluctuates the more gas you will use.

  9. Keep your windows closed when traveling at high speeds. Open windows cause additional drag.

  10. Try not to idle your engine for long periods of time.

  11. You no longer need to warm your car up for long periods of time, especially with new cars.

  12. Don't travel at fast speeds in low gears. Use overdrive or a high gear when possible.

  13. Drive the speed limit.

  14. Accelerate gradually when leaving stop lights.

  15. Choose a quality brand of gasoline but don't buy a higher grade than your car requires. Check your owners manual or consult a mechanic or the correct grade of gasoline.

  16. Avoid unnessarry engine revving. It may sounds cool but you are wasting precious gasoline.

  17. Remove roof racks from your vehicle if you are not using them.
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The last thing to consider is whether you can cut out the vehicle altogehter. Biking, walking or using public transportation are great ways to save money and cut down on other expenses related to vehicle ownership. If you have any tips to share, feel free to post them below. �

March 7, 20110 found this helpful

It is also helpful to buy your gas in the mornings when the ground and gas are at a low temperature. Gas compresses when it is cold and expandes as it warms up. Technically you can get more gas in your tank for the same price if you fill it in the morning. As it warms up it will expand keeping the tank fuller. The engine uses the same amount of gas warm or cold.

I read this in a gas saving article several years ago.

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March 8, 20110 found this helpful

One thing that I have noticed is that the prices at the pump go up on the weekends. I try to buy gas mid week when possible.

Another thing is to be aware of the "best" gas stations in your area. The ones right off the freeway or major roads can be much more expensive. There is a Chevron right off Hwy 26 that is always about 20 cents more a gallon that the Chevron in the downtown area, just a mile away.

I typically go to Costco for my gas, in the morning mid week :)

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March 8, 20110 found this helpful

You also need to know what kind of gas burns better in your car. Walmart and Sunoco gas burns faster in my car than shell. We found this out by accident, we had been buying our gas at the sunoco station near our home and my husband and I got to talking about how much gas we were going through even though we were not going that much. So we decided to switch stations and brands of gas and we are getting better mileage now.

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March 8, 20110 found this helpful

I just had an email sent to me which was the source of the tip I posted below. I got this email originally back when gas broke the $2.00 mark and everyone was panicking. Same tips still apply today. And some of the tips by Jes and Teresa below are pretty good too.

Tips on pumping gas:

I don't know what you guys are paying for gasoline, but here in California we paying up to $3.75 to $4.10 per gallon. My line of work is in petroleum for about 31 years now, so here are some tricks to get more of your money's worth for every gallon:

Here at the Kinder Morgan Pipeline where I work in San Jose, CA we deliver about 4 million gallons in a 24-hour period through the pipeline. One day is diesel the next day is jet fuel, and gasoline, regular and premium grades. We have 34-storage tanks here with a total capacity of 16,800,000 gallons.

Only buy or fill up your car or truck in the early morning when the ground temperature is still cold. Remember that all service stations have their storage tanks buried below ground. The colder the ground the more dense the gasoline, when it gets warmer gasoline expands, so buying in the afternoon or in the evening....your gallon is not exactly a gallon. In the petroleum business, the specific gravity and the temperature of the gasoline, diesel and jet fuel, ethanol and other petroleum products plays an important role. A 1-degree rise in temperature is a big deal for this business. But the service stations do not have temperature compensation at the pumps.

When you're filling up do not squeeze the trigger of the nozzle to a fast mode If you look you will see that the trigger has three (3) stages: low,middle, and high. You should be pumping on low mode, thereby minimizing the vapors that are created while you are pumping. All hoses at the pump have a vapor return. If you are pumping on the fast rate, liquid that goes to your tank becomes vapor. Those vapors are being sucked up and back into the underground storage tank so you're getting less worth for your money.

One of the most important tips is to fill up when your gas tank is half full. The reason for this is the more gas you have in your tank the less air occupying its empty space. Gasoline evaporates faster than you can imagine. Gasoline storage tanks have an internal floating roof. This roof serves as zero clearance between the gas and the atmosphere, so it minimizes the evaporation. Unlike service stations, here where I work, every truck that we load is temperature compensated so that every gallon is actually the exact amount.

Another reminder, if there is a gasoline truck pumping into the storage tanks when you stop to buy gas, do not fill up; most likely the gasoline is being stirred up as the gas is being delivered, and you might pick up some of the dirt that normally settles on the bottom.

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