How to Survive Gas Prices
This summer we all know it will happen, but that doesn’t mean we don’t the dread the prices of gas. We make the bet, “I bet it’ll get to five bucks this month…” and we hope it never does. Elzey Insurance would like to share some easy tips to try and conserve your vehicles gasoline and maybe together we can make this summer more about enjoying ourselves than staying at home for fear of the gas pump.
1. Fill up with a lower-octane gasoline. Buy the lowest grade or octane of gasoline that is appropriate for your car. Unless your car requires premium gasoline, filling up your car with high-octane fuel is a waste of money. That pricey premium fuel won’t boost your car’s fuel economy or performance in the least, so skip it. If you’re not sure what grade of fuel works best for your car, open up your owner’s manual and take a look. As long as your engine doesn’t knock or ping when you fuel up with regular unleaded, you’re good to drive on this much cheaper gas. Passing on pricey premium gasoline could save you hundreds of dollars a year.
2. Don’t top off. Don’t bother topping off when filling your car’s gas tank. Any additional gas is just going to slop around or seep out. Why waste your money paying for gas your car won’t use? Stop pumping at the first indication that your tank is full when the automatic nozzle clicks off.
3. Tighten up that gas cap. Gas will evaporate from your car’s gas tank if it has an escape. Loose, missing or damaged gas caps cause 147 million gallons of gas to evaporate each year, according to the Car Care Council. So be sure to tighten up that gas cap each time you fuel up your car
4. Go for the shade. The hot summer sun that makes the inside of your car feel like a sauna also zaps fuel from your gas tank. If you let your car bake in the sun there’s more emissions to be evaporated. Remember every little bit helps, so park your car in the shade of a building or tree whenever possible. And buy a good windshield shade. A windshield shade blocks sunlight and helps to keep heat out of the inside of your car.
5. Use your garage for your car. Got a garage? Clear it out and make room for your car. Parking in your garage will help your car stay warm in winter and cool in summer, and you won’t have to depend as much on your gas-guzzling air-conditioning or defroster when you drive.
6. Pump up your tires. Don’t get caught driving on under-inflated tires. Under-inflated tires wear down more quickly and they also lower your car’s gas mileage because tires that have low pressure offer more resistance so the engine is going to work harder.
7. Check your tire pressure once a month. Buy a digital gauge and keep it in your glove box. Compare the pressure in your tires with the recommended pressure listed in your owner’s manual and on the placard in your car door. Then inflate your tires as needed. Be sure to check tire pressure when your tires are cold. A good time is early in the morning after your car’s been idle overnight.
8. Keep your engine in tune. Fixing a car that is out of tune or has failed an emissions test can boost gas mileage by about 4 percent. So be sure to give your car regular tune-ups. You’ll also want to watch out for worn spark plugs. A misfiring spark plug can reduce a car’s fuel efficiency by as much as 30 percent.
9. Replace air filters. Keep a close eye on your engine’s air filter. When the engine air filter clogs with dirt, dust and bugs, it causes your engine to work harder and your car becomes less fuel-efficient. Replacing a clogged air filter could improve your gas mileage by as much as 10 percent and save you 15 cents a gallon. It’s a good idea to have your engine air filter checked at each oil change. The Car Care Council recommends changing your car’s air and oil filters every three months or 3,000 miles or as specified in your owner’s manual.
10. Use the right oil. You can improve your car’s gas mileage by 1 percent to 2 percent by using the manufacturer’s recommended grade of motor oil. Opt for motor oil with the words “energy conserving” on the API performance label. This oil contains friction-reducing additives. 11. Don’t skimp on maintenance. Be serious about auto care. Your car’s performance depends on it. We sometimes call our cars our babies. By respecting our method of transportation it will respect you. There will be no more hoping the car will start because you know it will if you take care of it.
Also, please check out our previous BLOG about where to find the cheapest gas stations close to you!