It is very likely that when you first learned how to drive, the price of gas was much lower than it is now. And, when you first learned how to drive, you probably thought that driving fast, suddenly coming to a stop, and peeling out were all very cool parts of driving.
Back in those days, your bad driving habits were likely forgiven because you were young and the price of gas was still affordable. Almost everyone drove impatiently and in a hurry to get wherever it was they were going if they were going anywhere at all. Your reputation of being the one with the lead foot probably made you feel good about yourself.
With the rising cost of gas, we are in need of learning how to drive anew. Buying gas is something we must do all too often, sometimes weekly to get us to work and other necessary destinations. It’s not a bill that just comes around monthly such as utilities. Money spent on gas severely impacts our cash availability.
The first and most important thing to do is to drive patiently and to slow down. At first, until you get used to it, you could visualize having a hot cup of coffee on your dashboard, and pretend you have to slow down so you won’t spill it. Aside from saving gas, going slower will ensure that you are safe.
Fuel consumption increases with speed. 55 mph is the optimum speed on the highway. Authorities wonder if, in order to save money in fuel consumption, highway speed should be 55 mph for all highways. If that happens, you will be already used to it. Believe it or not, the speed limit on some highways in west Texas is 80 mph. You would be amazed at how quickly gas mileage drops at this speed.
Avoid driving erratically. You should aim to start and stop as smoothly as you can. Avoid weaving in and out of traffic, if you can. By driving a straight line, you will drive a shorter distance. You can save around $100 a year just by cutting down the number of miles you drive by 5%. It doesn’t sound very impressive, but even a free tank of gas or two are better than nothing.
Lighten the weight of your car. Do away with the roof top luggage rack and save another 5% by reducing the air drag and weight. Keep your trunk empty to save the extra 2% on your bill for each 100 pounds. Small things add up quickly. Make sure they add up to your benefit.
Most people used to let their engine idle for a few minutes, to warm up the car before driving. This is not needed now. Late models warm up in just a few seconds, and you can drive them immediately.
Try to only put gas in your car when the temperature is fairly cool. Gas expands when it gets hot, so you run the risk of having it spill over the top or leak out. Use the lowest octane your vehicle can tolerate without pinging. Keep your cool and save a bundle.