10 Ways to Save Money at the Pump

Saving on GasUnfortunately, fuel efficiency isn’t set in stone. As time wears on, your vehicle’s performance will decline no matter what model or brand you buy.

Buying a car with impressive fuel economy gives you a great head start, but you’ll need to make a conscious effort to keep that number high and prolong time between gas station stops.

  1. Avoid Turning Left

Avoiding left turns is an efficient way to save on gas and stay safer on the road. Left turns require more fuel because your car idles for longer as you wait for traffic to pass.

Also, a study from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration has shown that more crashes at intersections involve left hand turns than right hand turns.

  1. Check Gas Apps

Driving around town to find the best gas price is a thing of the past. Today, you can find both the cheapest and closest gas station by simply inputting your location on a smartphone app.

Keep in mind that going out of the way to save a few cents might not be worth it as you’ll likely waste precious petrol getting there. Choosing a relatively cheap option near you will cost less in the long run.

  1. Cluster Your Trips

Reduce the frequency of your trips by completing errands all at once instead of making multiple trips. Choose stores that are close to one another and buy items in bulk to avoid making trips to restock.

  1. Don’t Idle

Not moving while the engine is running is a surefire way to see your mpg plummet. If you have a penchant for waiting in the drive-thru, consider taking the time to walk inside.

If you plan to spend less than 10 seconds idling, it will probably be worth it to avoid shutting the car off. Ten seconds is the break-even point for gas used while idling versus gas required to start the engine.

  1. Drive Calmly

You could experience a 40 percent increase in fuel consumption if you floor the gas pedal at a green light, only to slam on the brakes as you hit the next red light.

These so called “jack rabbit” starts will burn up gas and create excess wear and tear on your tires, brake pads and engine. Keep calm when driving and ease your car into starts and stops.

  1. Use a Gas Rewards Credit Card

Paying for gas is inevitable, so why not get cash back for those purchases? Some rewards credit cards offer as much as 3 percent back when you purchase gas. Others offer rewards you can redeem for gas purchases.

Only use a credit card if you know you can pay the full balance each month. No amount of cash back will cover interest you’ve accumulated by leaving debt on the card.

  1. Slow and Steady Wins the Race

It seems counterintuitive that slowing down can increase your fuel economy, but it’s true. Your fuel efficiency can drop as much as 20 percent when driving 75 mph and faster.

Stick to the slow lanes and ride along at a steady 55 mph to decrease wind resistance and save on fuel.

  1. Turn on the Air Conditioning

Turning on the A/C in older cars was terrible for fuel efficiency. Thankfully, newer models are built to handle the strain. They are now designed so that air conditioners have minimal impact on the engine.

Also, the minimal impact of the air conditioner is far more beneficial for your fuel economy than the extra wind resistance generated by having the windows down, especially at higher speeds.

  1. Hug the Curves

Take a tip from auto racing and stay close to the curves of the road when driving. Doing this will allow you to travel a shorter distance and save on gas in the long run.

  1. Work With the Weather

It’s best to keep temperature in mind before running errands. During summer, morning or evening runs are best so you can avoid driving at the hottest time of the day.

In winter, let the sun warm your engine a bit before starting it. Plan longer trips and drive to your farthest destination first. This will extend the time it takes the engine to cool during stops and improve fuel economy.

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Mistakes on the road to success are unavoidable. If you’re working diligently to pay off your debts and could use a helping hand, contact the certified counselors at American Financial Solutions. Over the last 15 years, we’ve helped our clients pay off over $42 billion in debt.

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