We've all noticed that the price of gas has gone up lately. Unless you live close to public transportation, you probably drive a fair bit and you're feeling the pinch. I know I am.
Today I looked for some advice on how to avoid being gouged by gas prices, and I found this great article, 29 Tips on Saving Gas. Here are some of the most useful and universal trips from the article (because not all of us can afford a hybrid!):
1. Stop and start correctly. A car consumes the most gas when you accelerate and brake abruptly. Try to coast as much as you can and only use your accelerator to control the car while in slower traffic, braking slowly when you need to.
2. Use your air conditioner as little as possible. Obviously, this doesn't apply to our Arizona and Southern California residents during the summer, but when you can, park your car in the shade and roll your windows down. It takes a lot of energy to run your AC.
3. Reduce weight. It takes more energy to accelerate the more weight you are carrying. Keep all necessaries (spare tire, jack, etc.) in your trunk, but don't carry around unnecessarily larger items if you don't have to.
4. Turn your car off. If you think you will be idling for 30 seconds or more, turn off your car. Idling, especially with your AC on, wastes gas.
5. Drive slower. Not fun, but it reduces drag on the car and maximizes fuel economy.
6. Roll up your windows. So we just told you not to run your AC, but you have to roll up your windows too? On hot days, do what you need to do to be comfortable, but on a normal day, having your windows down adds drag to the car, causing it to use more energy to speed up. Opening your windows at low speeds and using the air conditioner at high speeds gives you better fuel economy.
7. Pick a better route. I don't know why I always forget to do this. Maximize your route so you can run multiple errands efficiently or hit stop-and-go-traffic less often. The longer you can go without having to stop or accelerate, the better. Not having to retrace your steps is always good. Make a list of what you have to do and pick the most efficient way to get it done. A little planning goes a long way.
Stay eco-friendly, eco-frugal!