How to get the most out of every drop of gasoline

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Every penny counts these days.


Key points

  • Gas prices are at an all-time high, causing the average American to pay $1,000 more at the pump this year.
  • By driving sensibly, removing excess weight from your car, and keeping it in shape, you can reduce the amount of gas you use by up to 75%.

The price of gasoline has just reached a new milestone: the average price per gallon exceeds $4 in all states for the first time. According to AAA, the average price reached $4.59, a new record and more than 50% from the previous year.

California residents face the highest prices, with gas reaching $6.07 per gallon. The average American is paying nearly $1,000 more for gas this year. By following these gas mileage tips, you can reduce the amount of gas you use by 25% to 75%, saving your hard-earned money at the pump.

Avoid aggressive driving

Speeding, rapid acceleration and braking can reduce gas mileage by 15% to 30% at highway speeds. Aggressive driving in stop-and-go traffic is even worse, costing you 10-40% in gas mileage. Driving sensibly will help you save at the pump and is safer for you and others on the road.

Fuel economy: 10% – 40%

Gas savings: $0.46 – $1.84

Avoid speeding

Gas mileage generally drops off significantly above 50 mph. Studies show that every 5 mph you drive over 50 mph is like paying an extra $0.31 per gallon. By driving 5 to 10 mph slower, you can reduce your gas mileage by 7% to 14%.

Fuel economy: 7% – 14%

Gas savings: $0.32 – $0.64

For every extra 100 pounds in your car, you reduce your gas mileage by 1%. Carrying cargo on the roof not only adds extra weight, it increases aerodynamic drag. A large cargo box can reduce fuel consumption by 10% to 25% when driving over 65 mph, 6% to 17% when driving on the highway, and 2% to 8% in the city. When driving, remove the cargo box and remove excess weight.

Fuel economy: 2% – 17%

Gas savings: $0.09 – $0.78

Keep your vehicle in shape

Keeping your engine properly tuned can improve gas mileage by 4%. Under-inflated tires can reduce fuel consumption by approximately 0.2% for every 1 psi drop. By keeping your tires properly inflated, you can increase gas mileage by 0.6%.

Fuel economy: 0.6% – 4.6%

Gas savings: $0.03 – $0.21

total savings

By following these tips, you can increase your gas mileage by 19.6% to 75.6%. This combination could result in savings of $0.90 up to $3.47 in equivalent gas savings per gallon. This could equate to savings ranging from $540 to $2,000 per year.

Other gas-saving tips include choosing more efficient vehicles and combining errands into one trip. Fuel economy is worse with a cold engine than with a hot one. Several short trips made from a cold start can use twice as much fuel as a longer, multi-purpose trip covering the same distance. These tips can not only help you save money in today’s environment of high gas prices, but they can also help you save in the long run.

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