MECHANIC SPEAK BLOG

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The Mechanic Speak blog will delve deeper into mechanical and repair related subject matter, offering a unique perspective for drivers and car enthusiasts alike.

Great Ways to Save Money at The Pump

Many people consider gas saving tips only during the Summer season when in fact, motorists can follow tried-and-true practices to save gas all year long.  As this blog goes to digital press ;-), the national average price for a gallon of gas across the country has consistenty fallen over past three weeks.  According to AAA, this is the longest streak of falling gas prices in 2013.

Gas prices in the greater Fort Collins area have been hovering between $3.40 and $3.67 for regular and $3.60 to $3.95 for premium.  CBS MoneyWatch is also reporting that record numbers of motorists are considering the purchase of hybrid, electric and diesel vehicles to save money at the pump.  

While gas prices will continue to fluctuate greatly, taking steps to conserve gas not only saves you money now ... it also helps save the planet. Check out these helpful tips from Consumer Auto Digest to help save gas and money not just in the Summer season, but throughout the year.

  • Check your vehicle's octane level.  Look in your car's owner's manual to find out the octane level of the fuel your vehicle requires. Buy the level required for your car, and don't buy premium gas unless your car requires it. Studies show that over 15% of the cars using high-octane fuel do not require it. Using high-octane gas in a car that does not need it, in time can actually cause damage to the vehicle.
  • Make sure your tires are inflated correctly.  Tires that are not properly inflated make it harder for your vehicle to move, meaning your using more fuel to keep up. A tire that has lost even 2 PSI increases fuel consumption by one percent.
  • Keep your car in good condition.  Clean engines burn fuel with greater efficiency, so check and change your oil as needed. Follow the manufacturer's maintenance schedule and check your air filter and other car fluids regularly.
  • Accelerate Normally.  While accelerating slowly is not the best way to save fuel, and annoys others on the road, be sure that you also don't accelerate hard. Quick starts and racing to red lights can increase fuel consumption.
  • Maintain a constant speed over long distances.  Using cruise control and maintaining a constant speed can save on fuel. Constant acceleration and deceleration causes greater fuel consumption.
  • Go with the flow on the highway.  Do not speed on the highway/freeway. It requires more gas and the engine to work harder in order to maintain speed and move your vehicle though the air, working against drag.
  • Drive Lightly.  Heavier vehicles use more fuel, so clean out unnecessary weight in the car's interior or trunk. Remove roof racks and bike racks they are when not needed.
  • Cut down on using the A/C.  The air conditioner puts a lot of extra pressure on the engine, meaning more gas is used. On average, a car operating with the air conditioning engaged uses about 20% more fuel.
  • Close your window and sunroof.  Open windows and sunroofs at highway speeds can make a car 10% less fuel efficient. For fresh air, if you don't want to use the A/C, is to change your settings to cold air on vent and crack the window only a little bit for extra ventilation.
  • Avoid unnecessary idling.  If you are stopped for more than one minute, shut off the car. Restarting the car uses less fuel than letting it idle.
  • Plan your drive.  Including to work and to any errands you may have in order to avoid gridlock. This saves on fuel, and also saves frustration.

 

Save at the pump

Sources:  ColoradoGasPrices.com, AAA, CBS MoneyWatch, Consumer Auto Digest

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