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Gas prices wax and wane, but it’s a major expense for anyone whose primary mode of transportation is a car. Whether you own your car outright, you’re paying for it in installments, or you’re leasing it, gas will be one of your most critical monthly expenses. It’s also a prime area of your monthly budget where you can make some changes and save some extra dough.
If gas is draining your pocketbook, these simple tips can help.
1. Use a Credit Card That Gives You Cash Back at the Pump
Many credit cards are available that offer cash-back rewards when you use them to fill gas in your vehicle. Some of them offer up to 5% cash back. As long as you can pay off the balance each month consistently, this can be a helpful option.
2. Slow & Steady Wins the Race
Driving fast increases drag, which can also increase your total fuel consumption. Driving at a steady pace just below the speed limit is generally more fuel-efficient, especially in areas with the speed limit in the 45-55 mph range. In addition, refrain from slamming on your brakes. Leaving plenty of room between your vehicle and traffic will result in lighter brake use saving both fuel economy and your brake pads. Now that two birds with one stone.
3. Avoid Idling
Looks like it’s time to say goodbye to those drive-thru windows! If you’re waiting on someone to get in the car, or if you’re at a railroad crossing waiting on a really long, slow train, go ahead and turn off your car. Idling wastes a lot of gas. Quick fact: “warming-up” your car before driving isn’t actually necessary in modern vehicles. Current engines need no more than 30 seconds of warming up lest they begin releasing harmful emissions into the air.
4. Check Your Tire Pressure
Did you know that more than 25% of vehicles on the road are driving on poorly inflated tires? Double check your tire pressure before hitting the road. This is can help both the life of your tires and your car’s fuel economy. Learn more about tire pressure here.
5. Don’t Wait Until You’re Almost Empty to Fill up on Gas
You should avoid letting your gas get under about a quarter of a tank. When you wait until the last minute to fill the gas, you’ll find yourself stuck going with whichever gas station is the closest. This can be especially unfortunate on road trips when gas is few, far, and expensive in between. When you fill up at the pump sooner, you can find the gas station with the best price and save money.
If the possibility of running out of gas in a desolate place or on a busy road is not enough to keep your tank filled, then consider the potential damage you could be doing to your vehicle. Your fuel pump, which relies on gas as a coolant and lubricant, could become overheated or fail, making a costly repair necessary. Stay on the safe side and keep it topped up.
6. Sign Up to Earn Gas Rewards When You Buy Groceries
Many grocery stores offer gas reward cards to people who shop there regularly. You can also consolidate your grocery trips and buy more things at once, reducing the number of times per month you need to drive to the store and earning more rewards from larger purchases.
7. There’s an App for That
There are several apps available for iOS and Android that help you find the cheapest gas prices in your area. Give it a quick search next time you have a free minute and check out some useful apps, such as GasBuddy or AroundMe.
8. Just Drive Less
This is sometimes easier said than done, depending on where you live. If there are some destinations to which you can walk or ride a bike, doing so can save you money. Public transportation is also an option, especially if you live in an urban area. You can also do things like combining multiple errands into one trip, so you don’t have to go out several times and waste extra gas.
RepairPal is working to fix an industry not known for trust and assurance and arm consumers with individual knowledge when it comes to getting their cars repaired.
We want to make the auto repair process less stressful and much more trustworthy. Our website features our Fair Price Estimator, eliminating that impending “am I being ripped-off?” feeling, while also providing matches to Certified shops, guaranteed to do the work at that fair price with quality parts and a trained, awesome staff.
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