The prices of gas keep fluctuating quite often. They are also generally higher than most utility bills we have to settle regularly. These constant fluctuations, combined with the higher prices, do put some strains on our budgets. They also force us to dig deeper into our pockets so that we can keep driving our cars.
Given the overall significance of cars in our lives, we just have to find a way out of these higher costs. To navigate this situation better, you must equip yourself with some hacks. We have assembled some of the top eight awesome hacks you can make if you ever hope to spend as little as possible on gas.
1. Time your purchase appropriately
Gas prices fluctuate from time to time. You should time your gas purchase to coincide when prices are lower. Generally speaking, gas is cheaper in the mornings and weekdays. This is because the demand for gas during these times are generally lower.
On the contrary, the prices surge on weekends, in festive seasons, and on holidays. This is because the demand for gas is at its peak during these times. You should, therefore, avoid these times as much as possible.
You should also compare gas prices from different providers and find the one best for you so that you can save on money.
2. Minimize your usage of the car’s internal features and systems
The typical modern car is loaded with tons of features. Among these are built-in radio, screens, music players, speakers, GPRS, Wi-Fi, and indeed, more besides. These features all compete for the meager engine power to operate.
As part of your effort to save money on gas, you may wish to scale down on your usage of these extra features. Switch them as long as possible and only on when you absolutely have to use them.
As a long-term measure, you may also consider substituting those features with other devices. For instance, you may wish to use your phone to play music while driving rather than the car’s built-in audio system. This will see to it that you save some engine power and of course spend less on gas in the process.
Related: How You Can Easily Save Money with These 5 Apps
3. Drive slowly all the time
Consider reducing your driving speed. Studies upon studies have deduced, almost without exception, that you consume less gas when you drive slower. The logic is simple, the engine burns less fuel at lower speeds than at higher speeds.
Moreover, you also give your engine ample time to completely burn the fuel when you drive slowly as opposed to when you drive at higher speeds. This boosts your engine’s fuel efficiency. It also brings along the accompanying benefit of reducing the costs of gas in the long run.
Bonus Tip: You are strongly urged to drive at speeds below 50 mph. This is quite comfortable and fuel-saving.
4. Turn off the engine when idling
While driving in crowded and congested cities and towns, you will, from time-to-time have to stop, either at a zebra crossing, or when the traffic light is red or you are in a jam. Most motorists leave their engines running at such times. The engine still consumes some amount of fuel at such times. The accululation of gas used may be devastating, especially if the trend goes on unabated repeatedly for quite some time.
This is why you are strongly urged to turn off your engines whenever you are idle. Doing so curbs the wastage of gas and with it, come greater savings on your part.
5. Inflate your tires
Have you ever attempted to ride bicycles on flat tires? That is exactly what happens when you drive on low tire pressure or flat tires. You require plenty of effort and engine power to generate the needed torque. Such extra effort translates to higher fuel consumption which also means spending more money on the whole.
To prevent this problem, you are advised to inflate your tires at full pressure at all times. Fully-pressured tires give you a smoother ride, require less torque to rotate, are easier to engage, and ultimately demand less money on your part.
Bonus Tip: The recommended pressure for your car’s tires is 30-35 pounds per square inch.
Related: How to Change a Flat Tire by Yourself
6. Use only the recommended oil
Each car has a corresponding manufacturer’s recommended oil. This is the oil which, in the wisdom of the manufacturer, works best for your car’s engine. You should, therefore, strive as much as possible, to use only this oil at all times. In case it is not available in your area, or you do not have the means to acquire it, settle for the closest variation.
Other than that, there are some factors you have to consider while on the lookout for the right oil for your car. The right one has to contain the API Performance symbol, and must be clearly labeled ‘Energy Conserving.’
7. Tune your engine from time-to-time
With time, the pistons of the engine misalign and become largely ineffective. If, and when this happens, the fuel consumption surges and increases the cost of gas. To solve this problem, you may wish to tune your engine from time-to-time.
This basically entails adjusting and modifying the internal combustion chamber or its control unit. Doing this boosts fuel efficiency, increases its power output, extends its lifespan, and overall performance. It saves you a lot of fuel costs over the course of time. The US Department of Energy postulates that tuning your engine regularly saves you a whopping 4% on fuel costs.
8. Reduce the loads or cargo
Too much cargo on board exerts a lot of pressure on the tires and engine. They subsequently require plenty of effort and rotational force to transport from one point to another. This extra force translates into higher fuel consumption which also means more money on your part.
To bring down your gas costs you might want to reduce the load or cargo on board. Reducing excess cargo achieves the exact opposite. You save gas by burning less fuel to generate the rotational force necessary to transport them from one point to another. This, in turn, requires less money on your part in the form of fuel expenses.
There you have it! You have the luxury to choose from a variety of hacks above to save money on gas. Given that gas costs constitute a significant portion of monthly household expenses (you don’t want to have to rely on payday loans to tide you over) it is in your best interest to implement these hacks as soon as possible. Why don’t you consider doing so right away?