It’s summer! What a wonderful time of year, especially here in Orange County. Kids are out of school, the weather is gorgeous, the beaches are packed, the fair is in town, and… oh yes, gas prices are skyrocketing. Can’t win ’em all, right? But you can use some summertime gas saving tips to help ease the pain of those gas prices.
Gas Saving Tips | Take Your Time
We live in such a fast-paced time. Everyone’s in a hurry to get everywhere. Especially here in Orange County. But what you may not know is that your hurried lifestyle could be affecting your car’s fuel economy. You’re at a stoplight. The light turns green. What do you do? Do you put the pedal to the medal like an Indy car driver? (The answer is no.) You gradually accelerate. Same goes with braking – pay attention to what’s ahead, don’t follow too closely, and give yourself plenty of time and space to come to a complete stop without slamming on the brakes. And while you’re at it, follow the posted speed limits.
Unload Excess Weight
We’re not talking about going on the Green Juice Diet, we’re talking about what’s in your car. Anything that loads you down will affect fuel economy. Luggage racks, ski racks, and bike racks should be removed as well, as they reduce the car’s wind resistance.
Gas Saving Tips | Don’t be Idle for Long
Words to live by. Same goes for your car. If you’re sitting there idling for longer than a minute, just turn off the engine because you’re wasting gas. Coming up on an extra-long drive-through line? Park and walk in. You’ll burn a few extra calories, which will help you feel less guilty about ordering those French fries and that milkshake.
Turn off the AC
Summertime gas saving tips can help you save money while still enjoying your summer by going out and having fun. There aren’t too many days out of the year when it’s just too hot to roll the windows down. If you can take it, turn off the AC (morning and night are good times) and enjoy breathing the fresh air and knowing you’re saving yourself some dough.
Gas Saving Tips | Check Your Tires
One of the best gas saving tips is to keep your tires properly inflated is an especially important way to increase fuel economy. Every time you get your oil changed; be sure the mechanic checks your tire pressure. Also check it when there are big temperature changes, as the outside temperature affects tire pressure as well.
Buy Regular Fuel
Most cars are engineered for 87 octane fuels. Unless yours is one of the fancy-schmancy ones that requires Premium, you’ll do just fine with regular fuel. (If your car does require Premium, you’ll just have to accept that you’re going to pay more for gas, because skimping can severely injure your car.)
Gas Saving Tips | Cruise Control
Use cruise control on long road trips and whenever possible on the highways. We tend to put pressure on and off the pedal, even when we’re on a long road trip. That fluctuation changes the fuel efficiency of our vehicles. Cruise control removes that fluctuation, allowing your car to use only what it needs to keep a safe speed.
Avoid Rush Hour
Unless you enjoy inflicting pain on yourself, you probably don’t enjoy navigating the freeways of Orange County during rush hour. Take exceptional care to avoid traffic jams and stop-and-go traffic, as this will reduce fuel economy. Use Google maps to check traffic on your computer or smart phone. Also, combine trips for errands so you’re not going out multiple times a day, and carpool when you can.
Gas Saving Tips | Park Smart
Park in the shade whenever possible. This allows your car to cool down, which minimizes fuel evaporation. That’s right, fuel evaporates. You should be sure to only fill your tank if you know you’re going to use it. However, you also want to make sure you never let your gas tank get below a quarter of a tank. This is one of the easiest gas saving tips.
Proper maintenance avoids poor fuel economy related to dirty air filters, old spark plugs or low fluid levels. You can make sure your car is running optimally, getting the most out of the gas you put in by keeping it maintained. That includes tune ups, oil changes, and even washing your car can make a difference.