8. Go low. Use the lowest recommended octane for your car. Check you’re the owner's manual for your car, but most cars on the road today can go with the lowest-octane (and cheapest) gasoline. |
9. Wait to fill up. Always fill up when you've got a quarter of a tank or less. You get better gas mileage with a lighter load, so that means gas mileage improves as you near empty. However, don't let it get too low—you could end up stranded!
10. Don't top off. When filling up, use the automatic "stop" function on the pump. When it stops, don't pump out a few extra cents worth of gas by hand. That gas evaporates (talk about a waste of money) and is bad for the environment, too.
11. Quit idling! Idling wastes gas and pollutes the air. Whether you're in line at a drive-thru, waiting for school to let out, or stopped in a parking lot, turn off the car. Turn the ignition to "accessory" mode to keep the radio and AC on. Even better, park and walk inside instead of using a drive-thru.
12. Remember what you learned in driver's education class: Don't tailgate, maintain consistent speed, drive the speed limit, and anticipate stop signs. Changing speeds constantly reduces efficiency. Decide what's more important to you: Arriving a couple of minutes (or usually just a few seconds) earlier, or saving money.
13. Got junk in your trunk? Empty it. Any extra weight reduces fuel efficiency. Also, take off any bike or ski racks if you're not using them. They can cause drag, making your car work harder to maintain speed.
14. Take care of your car. Regular oil changes improve gas mileage. Be sure to regularly change air filters, keep your tires properly inflated, and use a fuel injector cleaner, too.
15. When you are ready to fill up, fill it up all the way! Gas is expensive today, and chances are it'll be even more costly tomorrow. If you fill the tank completely, you can go longer between fill-ups.
16. Know your route. Getting lost is a waste of time and money. Sometimes it can't be avoided, but plan your routes in advance or use a global positioning unit. Carry a map, and use it!
17. Be shady. Park in the shade. Gas can evaporate on a hot day, especially when you park in the sun. Also, parking in the shade keeps the inside cooler, meaning you have to use the air conditioning less.