Saturday, June 7, 2008

The Saturday Seven: Top Tips to Save Gas

We, as a nation, are gluttons of just about every resource you can name: food, water and oil. Our voracious appetite for oil has not waned, despite soaring gas prices with no end in sight. Among the many solutions, one thing everyone can do to help is to reduce consumption. Any good environmentalist will agree with that. Regular readers know that this is not a political blog, there are plenty of other blogs out there that handle the heavy stuff. But I thought I'd provide a free public service to the faithful readers who may be suffering from shock at the gas pump. So aside from driving smaller cars, buying hybrids, taking mass transit, riding a bike or just plain walking, there are still some other options. This brings me to another scintillating edition of: The Saturday Seven: Top Tips to Save Gas
Please share this information with others- consider linking back to this post from your blog.

# 1. Avoid Jack-Rabbit Starts and Stops- fast starts out of the line will consume huge amounts of gas as the engine has to work much harder to get the car up to speed. Accelerate gradually when starting off and extend your gas mileage.

#2. Drive 55 MPH- As painful as it is (and believe me, I have a lead foot) it really does save a LOT of fuel by driving 55-60 miles per hour. You'll be shocked at how much longer your tank will stay full driving at this speed.

#3. Use less air conditioning- this coming from a man who lives in the desert. Your car uses a lot of horsepower to run the a/c on full blast. Try to keep it a little lower.

#4. Turn off the car- if you are waiting more than a minute in a line or at the Starbucks or McDonald's drive through. Excessive idling just wastes gas.

#5. Keep your tires properly inflated- Under-inflated tires can zap as much as one mile per gallon! Go to an auto parts store and buy one of those cheap digital tire pressure gauges. Anyone can use it, even the Palm Springs Savant knows how to check the tires.

#6. Clean out the trunk of extra weight-This includes any pesky in-laws or annoying kids. An extra 100 pounds reduces a typical car's fuel economy by 2%.. If you have an SUV this also includes taking out the extra row of seating.

#7. Keep your car serviced regularly- Regular maintenance will optimize your car's performance, safety and extend gas mileage. At the very least get regular oil changes. And besides, there are some cute mechanics out there.

Bonus- Buy gas in the mornings or late evenings-Not many car drivers know about this one. Gas is more dense when it is cooler. In other words, it is more concentrated. So the best times to buy gas are at night or early in the morning before the temperature rises.
Have any other tips or suggestions to share? GO AHEAD LEAVE A COMMENT, ITS CHEAPER THAN A GALLON OF GAS. But more important, please share this post with others. Please put a link from your blog to this post, or just copy and repost it. Let's all try to reduce our consumption of gas.
-Rick Rockhill


lime said...

carpool, carpool, carpool!

also with my kids having active social lives i try to combine runs for as many errands as possible so i am not going out multiple times a day.

and now more than ever i miss living in town so i could WALK to my errands.

Mo said...

#6... but where else am I gonna hide the ex's body?!?!

Empress Bee (of the High Sea) said...

some great adivce rick! we filled up at the state line (fla/ga) as always and usually don't make it home without having to get more gas. we got home with a quarter tank to spare! drove slow and steady, it really works...

smiles, bee

Anonymous said...

Convert your car to a hybrid.

Desert Songbird said...

(snickering at Mo's comment)

We considered taking the hybrid on our vacation, but realized that with the large tank of gas in the minivan, the cost savings was minimal, and we wanted the comfort of the van for the long trip.

Still, when driving around home, we use the hybrid instead of the minivan. The kids are older now and can climb in and out of backseats more easily, and the Civic is pretty comfortable anyway, so now instead of 17 mpg in the city, we aver about 40-45 mpg with the hybrid.

TraceyTreasure said...

The speed limit is 75 mph on the highways here. People still pass you when you're going 80! It's crazy! Great tips, though!

Off Topic: I loved your vacation photos and I loved all of your vacation posts. I just wanted you to know! Thanks!

Have a great weekend!

Jeni said...

Welcome back home - a little late but better late than never. Really enjoyed the mega pics you posted during your trip to Europe/England.
Some great pointers in this post too - especially the first one. Not taking off like a bat out of hell would also, I would think, save money by being easier too on the old tires! I've been trying to get my son and son-in-law to see the logic in that for ages now!

Olivia said...

Ha! I'm quite relieved I don't have to go out and buy a car, which was one big reason I stopped vacillating and chose NYC over Houston.

Jimmi said...

I have a suggestion, if you drive an SUV, get rid of it and get a more economical car. These HUGE Hummers and Escalades people drive around in are obscene. I always see 1 person in them and they barrel down the road sucking up our resources. I think this is why we are having such a problem. The amount of consumption from these SUV's are astronomical.

The other problem is I live in a city that should have very good public transportation (trains, and light rails) because it is somewhat of a "new" town but of course with politics this has been shot down many times and this year we are FINALLY getting a light rail. Unfortunately is doesn't go to very many areas that could truly benefit from it. They are SO far behind, it should have been done YEARS ago!

jackie said...

It is all about using less, but we Americans just can't seem to stop! I've started selling candles again to hel ppay fo rmy gas bill.

Marlupe said...

these gas prices are going to make me crazy. I'll have you know that I too, know how to check the tire pressure on my car's tires. it does make a difference.

Robert said...

Use a engine flush, fuel injector cleaner every 5k miles, high quality air, oil and fuel filters and 100% synthetic motor oil. I high recommend AMSOIL. It is made here in the states. Driving habits will also make the biggest difference. I heard adding a small amount of acetone to your gas helps too, but have not tried it.

Lewis said...

Right after we sell this house and get moved, we're on the hunt for a hybrid or something that uses less.....And man am I ever going to have a hard time givign up my SUV.

Anonymous said...

i wish I had bought a hybrid. or maye a horse instead.

DVrE said...

You can decently get around 50% better gas mileage if you set up your car to use water as well. Check here for more details.

WAT said...

Good tips. I laffed about keeping annoying pesky people out of the trunk. The maintenance guy in the pic inspires me to go more often. He's hot.

Canadian flake said...

This is a great list of tips. Gas is insane up here too...some companies are refusing to deliver to small country stations is getting nuts for sure.


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