Traveling? Here's How to Save on Gasoline
Our experts gotcha covered
On the road this holiday? Why spend money on gasoline when you don't have to? Save it for egg nog or a festive fruitcake, that's our motto.
With holiday travel looming, our experts at the Co-op Service Center have put together ten tips to help you save money over the long haul:
- Slow down. Everyone has heard this piece of advice, mainly because it’s true. For example, increasing your speed from 55 to 65 miles per hour increases drag by 36 percent. Driving a little slower will pay off at the pump.
- Accelerate slowly. Hard acceleration in stop-and-go driving can affect your gasoline usage by 20 percent or more. Take it slowly and smoothly.
- Keep your tires at the right pressure. Use a tire gauge and keep your tires at the recommend air pressure that can be found on the decal pasted to the driver’s door or in your vehicle owner’s manual.
- Check your air filter. If an engine can’t get enough air, the combustion efficiency can drop nearly ten percent. You’ll burn the same amount of fuel or more to go shorter distances.
- Keep your car aligned. There’s a reason service centers align your vehicle each time they change your tires. If your tires are bowed out of alignment even slightly, they waste gasoline.
- Check your spark plugs. Plugs that are worn or damaged will affect how efficiently your engine performs.
- Check your brakes. Brake calipers can bind over time, dragging down your gas mileage.
- Replace your oxygen sensor before the light goes on. The oxygen sensor monitors the efficiency of your vehicle’s combustion and can degrade over time. Keep yours checked for maximum efficiency.
- Replace a failing thermostat. A thermostat that opens too quickly or stays open can dramatically lower the coolant temperature, which affects your overall fuel efficiency.
- Replace a problem or missing air dam. Beneath the front of your car is a plastic air dam that literally “dams off” airflow to the undercarriage of your car, forcing air up and over the car and creating less drag. Ensure your air dam is there and working properly.
Be safe, drive carefully, and have a great holiday.