Take the Bus. In my
town it costs only 75 cents to go ANYWHERE on the bus.
And if you are a senior, you may go for FREE. Pittsburgh
is 50 miles away, and a trip is only $3.00. That's less
than an hour of parking.
For many, it's the commute to and from work that burns
the most gas. Telecommuting even one day a week will
reduce those costs 20%, will reduce wear and tear on
your car, and save lots of time,
Work four 10s or nine
nine-hour days. If your boss isn't too keen on
telecommuting, maybe he or she will allow you to work
four 10-hour days and take every Friday off, or nine
nine-hour days and take every other Friday off.
a group of friends or neighbors to carpool to work. This
can substantially cut down on gas consumption. And if
you live in an area that uses high-occupancy vehicle
lanes, it can also get you to work faster.
We all have errands to run throughout the week and
particularly on the weekends. Combine errands so you
have to take fewer trips to get your chores done. In
addition to saving gas, you'll also save time and
Walk or bike when
possible. More and more people are riding their
bike to mass transit or to work. Even biking to work one
or two days a week will save a substantial amount of
Replace a dirty air
filter. According to the Federal Trade
Commission, replacing a clogged air filter can increase
gas mileage up to 10%.
Keep your car's engine
tuned. Having your car's engine tuned according
to the owner's manual can improve gas mileage by 4%.
Get regular oil changes.
Clean oil in your car's engine improves gas mileage by
reducing friction. You should also look for oil that
says "energy conserving" on the performance symbol of
the American Petroleum Institute. It contains
friction-reducing additives that can improve fuel
Keep tires properly
inflated. Properly inflated tires can increase
your miles per gallon by up to 3%.
Use the right motor oil.
Make sure you use the proper grade of motor oil, which
can save you 1% to 2% at the pump.
Rotate tires and check
alignment. Rotating the tires for even wear
will improve your car's performance and gas mileage, as
will keeping the car properly aligned.
Buy the recommended gas
for your car. Most cars run on regular octane
gas. According to the FTC, there is no reason to buy a
higher grade of gas than what is recommended in the
owner's manual. If you want to read more on this, check
out the FTC's "Low-down
on high- octane gas."
Steer clear of
gas-saving gadgets. You've probably read about
any number of gadgets that promise to increase your
car's gas mileage. Most of these gadgets don't deliver
on their promises, and some can even harm your car. For
more information on these gadgets, you can read the
products: Fact or fuelishess."
Find the cheapest gas
near you. Check out
Buddy to find the
least expensive gas in your neighborhood.
Use gas-rebate credit
cards. Some credit cards can save you up to 5%
on gas. Three of the best cards in my opinion are the
Discover Open Road Card (5% cash rebate on gas and car
maintenance purchases), Chase PerfectCard MasterCard (6%
rebate on gas purchases first 90 days, 3% thereafter),
and BP Visa Rewards Card (10% rebates on gas purchases
from BP during first two billing cycles, 5% thereafter).
Keep it under 60.
At speeds above 60 mph, miles per gallon starts to
Avoid jackrabbit starts.
Peeling out when the light turns green so you can be the
first car at the next red light is like throwing money
out the window. Gentle driving can save you up to 5%.
unnecessary weight from your car (no, this doesn't
include your spouse). Lightening the load by 100 pounds
can improve your gas mileage by 2%.
Avoid using the roof
rack. Items on top of your car, in addition to
weighing you down, increase wind resistance, which
lowers your gas mileage.
Use cruise control.
Using cruise control on the highway when it's safe to do
so improves fuel economy.
Use air conditioning on
the highway, not in the city. If it's hot
outside, using the air conditioner on the highway
improves gas mileage over rolling down the windows
because of air resistance. But in stop-and-go traffic,
it's best to let Mother Nature cool you down.
Remove snow tires.
Deep tread and big tires consume more fuel. When winter
is over, remove the snow tires for better gas mileage.
Buy fuel-efficient cars.
There are plenty of hybrid and other fuel-efficient cars
to choose from. In my "Best
of March 2008" article, you'll find a link for some
of the least expensive hybrids on the market. Another
great site to check out is
Fuel Economy, a government-run Web site about hybrid
vehicles. These cars are the ultimate in money
management when it comes to fuel cost.
Buy an electric- or
gas-powered scooter. These scooters are
commonplace in many parts of the world, and their
popularity is growing in the U.S. A Vespa, for example,
gets up to 72 miles per gallon and has a top speed of 59
tires. Some tires are designed to increase fuel
efficiency by decreasing the rolling resistance of the
tire. Of course, there are other considerations when
buying tires, including traction and handling, but the
tires you put on your car can have a significant impact
on your fuel economy. The Michelin Energy LX4 is an
example of a fuel-efficient tire.