Guaranteed Fuel Saving Tips to Save Money

By: Ron Toomes

If you have filled up your vehicle lately, you have noticed how exorbitant the fuel prices are these days. In fact, as the price continues to creep toward $3.00 a gallon and even more, many people are unable to actually fill their tank. Instead, they put in $20 here or $40 there in an effort to just get back and forth from work. These rising fuel prices are grounding families who once enjoyed regular family outings. They must make shorter trips, or stay at home as fuel becomes somewhat of a luxury in some respects. As these prices put a stranglehold on the average consumer's pocketbook, many are left with the decision to fill their tank or put food on the table. The days of $1.99 a gallon are gone, the days of $.99 a gallon (yes, we old timers remember the "good ole days") are long gone. But, we still have a few tricks up our sleeve and, believe it or not, you can squeeze a few extra miles per gallon from your vehicle. Try these tips and put your fuel bill on a diet.

Choose a vehicle that is more fuel efficient

Now, wait. Before you say, "Well, duh! If I could do that I already would have!" Fair enough. However, think about this: When you compare a car that gets 20 mpg against a car that gets 30 mpg, based on 15,000 miles of annual driving and an average fuel cost of $2.65, you save $633 a year if you drive the 30 mpg car. Over the course of five years the savings grow to $3,313. Not too shabby. And I bet that three thousand bucks could really come in handy!

Plan your trips and errands more efficiently

Plan your trips so that you can accomplish more things in one trip as opposed to making a number of trips. Also, try to arrange it so that you follow some logical order that does not have you doubling back and going out of your way unnecessarily. For instance, if you need to go to the office to pay your utilities bill, say you are late, instead of trekking across town, burning up precious, expensive fuel, see if your local grocery accepts payments. Many utilities, gas and phone companies have this convenient service in grocery stores. Often you just need to pay the bill at the grocery store, then go home and call in the receipt number

Change your oil routinely and change to synthetic oil

Change your oil per the car manufacturer's recommendations. Better yet change over to synthetic oil. Synthetic oil and lubricants reduce friction in your engine, your transmission, and your gear boxes. When friction is reduced it takes less energy to turn the wheels of your vehicle, thus increased efficiency and increased fuel economy. Engines run higher RPM on the same fuel, reduced friction means better gas economy and better protection for your engine. Synthetic oil in your engine, transmission, and drive train could save you 5% or more on gas costs. Synthetic oil saves you money in other ways too. You can safely go longer between oil changes.

Keep your car in good running condition, watch those tires

Keep your tires in good shape; rotate and balance them regularly. Keep your tires properly inflated. Under inflated tires can cost you 10% or more in fuel economy. Get regular tune ups on your car. Repair your car when you notice a problem. Regular preventative maintenance alone can save you around 4% or better on fuel costs.

Be a more efficient driver

OK, your road ragers and speed demons, you may not like this one, but if you want to lower your fuel consumption by as much as 33 percent on the highway, then listen up. Speeding, sudden braking and rapid acceleration cause your car to guzzle the gas. These activities are big time fuel wasters. Drive more sensibly. Your car will thank you because of fewer repairs, your insurance company will thank you because of fewer accidents and your wallet will thank you because you won't be draining it as often for fuel. Now, go take all this money that you are saving by following these tips and take the family out to dinner!

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