Advertising
Advertising

6 Unbelievably Simple Ways To Get Better Gas Mileage This Summer

6 Unbelievably Simple Ways To Get Better Gas Mileage This Summer

Now that gas has come down in price somewhat, heading out on that glorious summer road trip is that much more financially viable for many folks this year. Still, gas is expensive – and so is virtually everything else these days.

If you’re going to transport yourself from point A to point B this year via your automobile – whether that’s going cross country, going to the beach or just heading to visit an old college friend – it’s probably in your best interest to optimize your gasoline consumption.

That’s assuming, of course, you’d like to have more money in your wallet to spend wherever you wind up.

Advertising

The good news is that by making a few changes here and there to how you act behind the wheel – and how your car is configured – you can noticeably reduce the amount of fuel you burn when you head out on the road. With that in mind, let’s take a look at six easy tricks you can employ to make sure you pay less at the pump this summer.

1. Become A Better Driver

How you actually operate your vehicle has a huge bearing on how efficiently you burn gasoline – it’s as simple as that. When you drive aggressively on the highway, which can be characterized by quick acceleration and hard braking, you stand to burn as much as 33% more gasoline than if you drove calmly and relaxed.

So remember, you’re not on a race track. You are driving a large vehicle so you can get to where you’re going – along with everyone else. You’ll get there when you get there; there’s no sense in driving like a maniac.

Advertising

Remember, you want to get where you’re going in one piece.

2. Tune Up Your Car

If your car isn’t running optimally, it won’t burn gas as efficiently. According to recent research, a clogged air filter can result in 20% less fuel efficiency. Similarly, spark plugs that are past their prime can also reduce the effectiveness of gasoline by about 12%.

So if you’re going to take a car coast-to-coast – or even if you’re going to drive a couple hundred miles to see your parents or head to the beach – you might want to bring her in to the mechanic for a tuneup prior to proverbially setting sail on the asphalt seas.

Advertising

3. Make Sure Your Tires Are Inflated

In addition to properly inflated tires lasting longer and being safer than their over- and under inflated peers, tires that are inflated to proper levels are much better for your gas mileage, too.

You stand to improve your gas mileage by 3.3% when your tires are properly inflated, so prior to heading out on a trip, make sure you stop by a gas station to gauge how much air is in your tires and adjust the levels accordingly.

4. Remember, Idling Is Bad

Stuck on the highway in a traffic jam? Waiting to pick up your road trip partner who takes forever to get ready? If it looks like you’re going to have to sit where you are for the foreseeable future, you might want to shut off your car.

Advertising

Generally speaking, you’ll burn one-quarter of a gallon of fuel when you idle for about 15 minutes. In other words, you’ll burn gas and travel zero miles – which isn’t so good for your gas mileage. Or your wallet, for that matter.

5. Neglect Your Air Conditioning

To get better gas mileage, it’s in your best interest to try and go as long as you can without turning on your air conditioning. In very hot temperatures, using the A/C can reduce gas mileage by 25% or more.

If you want to do even better, you could always drive with your windows up, too, to reduce the strain on your engine due to wind resistance. If you’re not that adventurous, keep your A/C off and your windows down. Your wallet will thank you.

6. Control Your Speed

When traveling at speeds of more than 50 miles per hour, your car’s aerodynamics are increasingly degraded with open windows. Therefore it’s better to use you’re A/C at highway speeds, and to drive with the windows rolled down at low speeds.

It’s also important to remember that the above list is not all-inclusive, but by becoming more conscientious behind the wheel and thinking more about how you’re burning fuel, chances are, you’ll be able to burn it more efficiently. That’s something that’s great for both your wallet and the environment.

More by this author

Anum Yoon

Writer & Journalist

Taxes: 10 Terms You Should Know If You Want to File By Yourself This Year Weird Laws Around the World That You’ve Never Heard Of Six Unconventional Ways to Become a Homeowner 10 Underrated Netflix Movies And Shows To Binge Watch During The Cold Weather Can Self-Driving Cars Be Ethical?

Trending in Money

1 How to Use Credit Cards While Staying Out of Debt 2 How to Use Debt Snowball to Get out from a Financial Avalanche 3 How Personal Finance Software Helps You Get More Out of Your Money 4 The Best Ways to Save Money Even Impulsive Spenders Can Get Behind 5 How to Answer the Tough Question: What are Your Salary Requirements?

Read Next

Advertising
Advertising
Advertising

Last Updated on March 4, 2019

How to Use Credit Cards While Staying Out of Debt

How to Use Credit Cards While Staying Out of Debt

Many people will suggest that the best thing to do with your credit cards during these tough economic times is to cut them up with a pair of scissors. Indeed, if you are already in huge debt, you probably should stop using them and begin a payback strategy immediately. However, if you are not currently in trouble with your credit cards, there are wise ways to use them.

I happen to really love my credit cards so I will share with you my approach to how I use mine without getting into deep financial trouble.

Ever since about 1983 when I got my first Visa card, I continue to charge as many of my purchases as possible on credit. Everything from gas, groceries and monthly payments for services like my cable and home security monitoring are charged on credit. Despite my heavy usage, I have maintained the joy of never paying any interest fees at all on any of my credit cards.

Advertising

Here are some tips on how best to use your credit cards without falling into the trap of paying those nasty double-digit interest fees.

Do Not Treat Credit Cards as Your Funding Sources

Too many people treat their credit cards as funding sources for major purchases. Do not do this if you want to stay out of trouble. I use my credit cards as convenient financial instruments so I do not have to carry around much cash. In fact, I hate carrying cash, especially coins. When you buy things on credit, the purchases are clean and you will not get annoying coins back as change.

I do not rely on my Visa, MasterCard or American Express to fund any of my purchases, large or small. This brings me to my golden rule when it comes to whether I will pull out any of my credit cards either at a retail or online store.

Advertising

I never purchase anything with my credit cards if I do not have the actual cash on hand in my bank account.

If I really cannot pay for the item or service with cash that I already have at the bank, then I simply will not make the purchase. Remember, my credit cards are not used as funding sources. They are just convenient alternatives to actual cash in my pocket.

Make Sure to Always Pay Off Balances in Full Each Month

The next very important part of my overall strategy is to make absolutely sure that I pay the balances in full each and every month no matter how large they are. This should never be a problem if the cash has been budgeted for my purchases and secured in the bank. I have always paid my full balances each month ever since my very first credit card and this is why I never pay interest charges.

Advertising

Using Credit Cards with Rewards

Most of my credit cards are of the “no annual fees” type, including one MasterCard on a separate account I keep at home as a spare in case I lose my wallet or incur any fraudulent charges. However, I do use a main Visa card which does have an annual fee because all purchases on that card reward me with airline frequent flyer points. For me, the annual fee is worth it since I do travel and I get enough points to redeem many free flights.

You have to decide for yourself if you will charge enough purchases on credit each year without paying interest charges to warrant a credit card that rewards you with airline points (or other rewards). In my case, the answer is “yes” but that might not be the case for you.

I occasionally use a MasterCard or American Express card on small purchases just to keep those accounts active. Also, I have been to the odd retailer that accepted only a certain type of credit card, so I find that having one from each major company is quite handy. Aside from my main Visa card which earns the airline points, the rest of my cards are of the “no annual fees” variety.

Advertising

So this is how I use my credit cards without getting into any financial trouble with them. This strategy is recommended only if you are not in debt, of course. In fact, it is worth keeping in mind once you’re out of debt so that you can keep your credit cards active and treat them responsibly.

What are your credit card usage strategies? Let me know in the comments — I’d love to hear what methods you use.

Featured photo credit: Artem Bali via unsplash.com

Read Next