Over the last month, my commute has increased significantly and in a rather thirsty SUV. To some, it may seem like I need to move, or to purchase a more fuel efficient vehicle. But, that is not always done as easily as said. But one thing that is easily done is watching your driving habits, and being cautious about where you fill up your tank. On today’s blog, I am going to share with you some tips and tricks that I have discovered to increase my fuel economy and keep more money in my pocket.
To start your experiment, it is always a good thing to get a baseline. Most cars today have an average MPG gauge, but if your car does not, simply track the miles between gas stops and divide the mileage by how much gas you got and that is the average MPG. Starting of my experiment, I was averaging 15.4mpg and paying on average $2.94 a gallon, which meant my average fill up was every 323 miles for about $62.03.
Tip Number 1
Watch your lead foot. One of the biggest aspect of fuel consumption is how often you press the pedal down. One way to decrease this issue is by taking it easy when leaving from a stop. Another way to decrease how often you hit the gas is to use cruise control on the highway. I often found myself attempting to stay the same distance away from the cars near me, but found they jump around in speed, which in turn causes me to use more gas by accelerating and decelerating.
Tip Number Two
Find a better gas station, with cheaper prices. Now, some gas stations may offer the lowest price around, but also look like you could encounter the creature from the black lagoon, so make sure you choose your battles. But personally, around my house, gas is on average $2.99 a gallon, while closer to work it is $2.60-$2.80 depending on the station. By planning my trips, I was able to cut down the average price per gallon by close to $0.40. You can also look into gas credit cards which offer discounts and rewards. One step that you could also look into is paying cash. Often times, stations will lower the cost by up to $0.10 a gallon for cash customers.
Tip Number Three
The final tip may not apply to all drivers, but it did in my case. Cars are designed to allow the air to travel over them with the least amount of resistances as possible. The more resistance you add, the more power it will take to move your car and in turn increase your fuel consumption. By removing my roof racks when finished using them and repairing a broken front bumper, I decreased the drag on my car and increase my fuel economy.
The End Results
After about a month of driving with my new habits, I noticed a massive difference in my fuel economy. Now to start, my vehicle has a rating of 20 mpg highway, 15 mpg city, and a combined of 17 mpg. With the new driving habits, I was able to achieve 20.2 mpg on my daily commute (which is 15% backroads, and 85% highway). I was also able to hunt out other gas stations close to my work, and averaged paying $2.70 a gallon. This means that I am now spending $56.97 a gallon, and filling up every 426 miles. That means I am saving $30 a week on gas, or over $1,500 a year on gas by being cautious of my habits.