As the cost of living rises, our pockets empty. One of the main culprits is our car – a constant guzzler of money as we cover fix-ups, insurance, and of course the never ending fill up at the gas station! With gas prices constantly on the rise, people are opting for public transportation, carpooling, bicycling, switching cars and any other alternative that will help them save the money.
But what if those choices aren’t easily available to you? Fear not, there are tried and true ways to save money on your current gas costs.
Here are five easy tips on cutting costs of petrol at the gas pump:
Don’t pay for premium
Premium fuel is usually the most expensive option offered at gas stations. Don’t be fooled by its fancy name – it may be premium, but it may also be completely unnecessary for your car. Opt for regular unleaded gasoline and you will instantly see savings in your gas expenses.
First, check your owner’s manual and find out what grade of fuel the manufacturer recommends or requires. Note that there is a big difference between recommending a certain fuel type and requiring it. Premium gasoline tends to have an octane rating of 91 or 92 which are slightly less combustible, while regular typically has an octane rating of 87. Most cars are built to run perfectly well on regular unleaded gasoline, but may recommend premium.
If you’re still unsure, check online through a Google search of your car type or consult a professional.
Check for prices online
We have a small blessing in our midst and that blessing is the smart phone. Thanks to GPS technology, wifi and the brilliant doings of money-saving technology wizzes, we have amazing apps that will tell us in real time the cost of gas in different gas stations. They indicate how far we are from them, and some may even calculate if the extra drive is worth the lower cost.
If saving money on gas is your end goal, keep in mind that you need to pre-empt the empty tank. Plan ahead, don’t drive on empty, and you will have the ability to calmly review gas prices and decide which gas station is the smarter choice. Otherwise, don’t be surprised if you end up paying more by pulling into the first available gas station out of despair.
Maintain your car
Skimping on checkups and fine-tuning your car may easily increase your budget on gas without your knowledge. In order to maintain proper mileage, your car should be constantly functioning properly and smoothly.
Check for necessary oil changes and changes to the air filter and spark plugs. Hold engine diagnostic scans and tune-ups on a regular basis and as many times as necessary. If you don’t maintain your car, you leave it no choice but to work much harder which empties out your pockets since it needs more gas.
Even simple maintenance like ensuring that your tires are properly inflated can increase your mileage by a significant percentage!
Stop running the engine
You would be surprised by how much gas is used up every month just from your car sitting idly while running the engine. As long as the engine is running, your gas is being used up regardless of whether you’re doing 70 mph at the freeway or waiting in a parking lot.
If it’s winter and your concern is warming up the engine, there is no need to leave the engine on for more ten seconds to at the very most, 1-2 minutes. The car will warm up far more from driving than sitting idly.
Changing your mentality in these scenarios and becoming aware of the amount of gas you are wasting will help you decrease the amount of gas money escaping your pocket.
Plan out your gas purchases
Gas prices fluctuate not only on a day by day basis, but also throughout the hours of the day. Stay away from purchasing during rush hour when demand for gas is higher, which naturally increases the price. Fill up your tank either very early in the morning or very late at night when costs decrease.
Wednesday mornings tend to provide the cheapest prices. But try to stay away from gas stations during the weekend and holidays when prices hike up as drivers fill up their tanks.
Plan ahead, and you can save.
What other tips do you have to save gas money?