While the start of beautiful spring weather is a welcome relief from the dreary cold of winter, the seasonal shift also means that soon gas prices will be shooting through the roof. This places an unwanted financial burden on you and your family - especially if you're planning an extended family vacation or two this summer. Luckily, with the right driving strategies, tailgate gifts and green gifts, you can keep your fuel costs low and save money for more enjoyable pursuits.
The Right Gas
When you pull up to the pump, you're confronted with three gasoline choices - regular, premium or super. These differentiations indicate the octane levels present in the fuel, and you might be confused about which variety is right for your vehicle - after all, doesn't premium mean better performance than regular? While certain vehicles might specifically require a higher grade of fuel, the average car doesn't need anything more than regular gas, saving you a few extra cents per gallon.
People often overlook the simple fact that their vehicle's engine has to work harder when there's more weight in the car. In order to keep your engine running at peak efficiency, try to eliminate as much unnecessary baggage as possible. This doesn't mean that you have to kick out family members or friends, but make sure you aren't carrying anything heavy in your trunk like a set of golf clubs, power tools, work gear or anything else that weighs down your vehicle.
If you have a tendency to drive fast, you're wasting precious gasoline by satisfying your need for speed. Posted speed limits are not only designed for safety, but they also indicate the ideal speed for fuel-efficiency on the road. This is particularly true on major highways, where traveling more than 60 miles per hour can dramatically reduce your tank's miles per gallon. Additionally, rapidly accelerating or braking will make your vehicle less fuel-efficient. Driving carefully and allowing plenty of time for course changes is the best method for saving money on gas.
As the weather gets hotter, you'll no doubt be switching on your air conditioning to keep cool. Instead, you should consider rolling down your windows if you're traveling through town or on a back country road to lower your fuel consumption. However, this can also increase drag when traveling at high speeds, so stick with the A/C on major highways.