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The Ultimate Cheat Sheet on Gas Savings

Since the oil crisis in the 1970s, the price of gas has been a constant worry for the general public. Even a 10-cent rise in the price of gas seems to be able to make many car-driving Canadians declare that the end is nigh. Instead of throwing on some sack-cloth and hitting the doom saying circuit, here are a few good tips for preserving your fuel economy.

Drive the speed limit

The temptation to break the speed limit is probably even greater than the urge to scratch a mosquito bite or pop bubble-wrap. However, studies have revealed that the faster you go, the worse your fuel efficiency gets. Cars reach their optimal speed differently, but as a general rule, driving over 85 kilometers per hour results in reduced mileage.

Accelerate gradually

Accelerating too quickly can waste a lot of gas. Try to accelerate gradually rather than jamming your foot down on the pedal. You can also waste gas when you change lanes quickly or brake suddenly. The department of energy has said that this kind of driving can reduce your mileage by up to 33 percent.

Shop around for the best prices

The news is always reporting on gas prices, so it's easy to know whether you should fill up now, when they're cheap, or wait for an expected decline. Generally, gas prices go up on the weekends and settle into their cheapest on Wednesdays. Gas is also usually less expensive in smaller, more out-of-the-way communities, than it is in bigger cities.

Travel light

I know it's useful to keep an entire pallet of bricks in the back of your car, but losing about 100 pounds of weight can save you 40 dollars annually. Really, whether you have tools, or use your trunk for storage, it is better to empty out what is not necessary.

Keep up on car maintenance

Regular tune-ups are not only good for your vehicle in general, but they can also save you money by improving your mileage. Make sure your tires are inflated and that you're also using the manufacturer recommended motor oil, as this will improve your vehicle's fuel consumption. If you're driving some kind of monstrous SUV, you'll probably see the effects of this a little less than with a more fuel-efficient car, but it's still a good idea to have regular maintenance done.

Avoid luggage and bike racks

In addition to making you look a bit like a tourist, roof storage messes with the aerodynamic profile of your vehicle and the resulting wind resistance can degrade your mileage overall.

Roll down your windows – sometimes

When it's hot in the summer, try rolling down your windows instead of running the AC when you're driving at slow speeds. This will reduce energy consumption of the vehicle and can save you a little money. When you're traveling at very high speeds, however, such as on the highway, it's actually preferable to close your windows and use the AC, rather than keeping them open, to improve the aerodynamics of your car.

There you have it, the ultimate cheat sheet to help you save money and make your gas stretch a few kilometers farther.