Do you dread pulling up to the gas station to fill your tank? I think it’s safe to say we’re all suffering from high gas prices right now. We see the effects in our wallets, in our daily habits, and it’s even a large part of current political discussions right now. It’s even affected us in the collision repair industry. You have to drive to have a fender bender, vendors have to drive to deliver us parts and materials, and we have to drive to be here when you need us. I’ve done some investigation on the subject, and here are some nifty tidbits of info I’ve come up with:
- Drive the speed limit. By changing your driving habits, you can improve fuel economy by up to 37%. As much as you won’t want to hear it, simply slowing down can save 12-14%. You can do it, I believe in you. This is especially effective on long distance trips. Can’t break the speeding habit? Use your cruise control. With the exception of using it in bad weather, your cruise can be the tool that keeps a few bucks in your wallet.
- Aggressive Driving. If you’re a speed demon, there’s a good change you also envision yourself as Tony Stewart when the light turns green. Keep in mind that aggressive driving has pretty much the same effect as speeding with regards to your gas tank. You don’t have to take that corner at 45 mph.
- Tire pressure. I’ve said it before (just checking to see if you’re keeping up with my blogs), and I’ll say it again … Checking, and maintaining proper tire pressure is important for many reasons, but in this instance it’s just another way to save gas.
- Avoid excessive idling. Waiting for the wife to run in the grocery store? We both know it’s going to take more than the 5 minutes she promised, so turn that key back and save a little.
- Car pool! You’ve talked about it, now’s the time to do it. Lots of us have a long drive to work. Surely you can find somebody, or several somebody’s to share the commute. Some companies have ride-share programs set in place. This can cut your weekly fuel costs in half.
- Phone Apps. All hail modern technology. There are plenty of apps out there for your smart phone. They’ll help you find the lowest price in the area, and even how to get there.
- Cash is king. Keep some cash handy. Some stations are now offering a lower price for cash customers.
- Sell the guzzler. Still driving that SUV that’s big enough to transport the whole soccer team? Maybe it’s time to trade in for something more fuel efficient. Not sure what to buy, or want to know the mpg of a vehicle? Here’s a great link to the federal fuel economy site, where you can find everything from government mandates to mpg on most make and models.
Hope this is some helpful information. We can’t stop driving, but we can become more conscious of our fuel economy. As Dory would say, Just keep swimming, err, I mean driving! Just keep driving!
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