More Mileage

By Teresa Iqbal

March 1, 2018 4 min read

The financial burden of owning an automobile tends to add up quickly when you consider the registration and other fees, mechanical repairs and maintenance, insurance, and trips to the gas station. Fortunately, there is a way to control the last factor by moderating the cost of gas. In fact, every car owner can benefit from employing some gas-saving tactics to make driving more affordable.

*Drive Slow and Steady

Driving fast and without any consideration to the rate of acceleration and braking may be fun, but it isn't doing your gas tank any favors. Driving at or just below the speed limit is the optimal sweet spot to conserve the most amount of gas. Slowly and smoothly accelerating makes the most out of the gas in your tank. One easy way to do so when traveling on the freeway or highway is to use your car's cruise control option.

Braking habits also play a big role in conserving gasoline as quick, sudden braking movements waste gas. The easiest way to prevent this braking is to leave ample room between your own car and the car in front of you to give yourself plenty of time for smooth and slow braking despite suddenly stopping cars. An added bonus is that your brake pads will wear out less quickly, saving you some cash.

*Be Mindful of Where and When You Fill Up

Many drivers aren't considerate of where they choose to purchase their gasoline, often stopping at the most convenient location to fill up. However, gas stations near the freeway and in the most convenient locations can be a great deal more expensive, and though it seems like pennies on the dollar, continually choosing to fill up at these more expensive gas stations can wear on your wallet. Find a moderately priced gas station that isn't too far from your normal commute and make it a habit to only fill up at this location. And keep your eye on the gas gage to allow planning for when you can make it to your chosen gas station and won't leave you having to purchase from a pricey station.

When you fill up your gas tank is also important. Gas is denser at cooler parts of the day, such as early in the morning or late at night, which means you're getting more bank for your buck.

*Maintain Your Vehicle Properly

Maintaining your vehicle is one of the smartest financial investments you can make when it comes to keeping your car running longer and more efficiently.

Confirm that your car's tires are set to proper psi to keep your car fuel-efficient by reducing friction. It's important to monitor your tire pressure on a regular basis as psi levels can fluctuate very often. Make it a weekly or biweekly habit to check your tire pressure so that you can ensure that your tires are always set at the optimal levels.

Changing your oil at the appropriate time -- either when you reach the projected mileage or time period -- helps to keep your car running well. It's also important to choose the proper type of oil and to change all filters appropriately. Check your owner's manual for the exact specifications your car requires. Not getting your car's oil changed in a timely manner, using the wrong type of oil, and having dirty filters can all make your vehicle work harder. Remember, whenever your vehicle has to work harder to transport you and your family, it uses gas much less efficiently.

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