Gas prices are lower than they have been in over five years, but many have projected that gas prices are going to start rising again in the near future. Even if gas prices don’t suddenly shoot up, you might still be looking for ways to help you save gas this spring. Here are some of our favorite gas-saving tricks!
1. Buy an environmentally-friendly car. The very best way to lower the burden of gas on your monthly budget is to buy a car that automatically requires less gas in order to get you where you’re going. Kia has a lot of environmentally-friendly options, from small sedans that get great gas mileage for their class to hybrids and even fully electric vehicles, which make it easy to drive a car that requires less (or even no) gas.
2. Drive the speed limit. While you might think that getting to a place faster means using less gas to get there, the most fuel-efficient speed is actually at around fifty miles an hour. Any stoplights on your way are also designed to accommodate the speed limit. If you are not going the speed limit, you will have a more difficult time stopping at red lights. The higher your car’s gear, the less fuel efficient it is going to be. You’ll also just be safer while driving to and from work or to complete your errands.
3. Lay off the brakes. Whether you ride your brakes while going downhill or your tailgate so you have to keep stamping on the brakes every time the car in front of you slows down, it’s time to change up your driving habits. Every time you slam on your brakes, you have to press on the gas to get back up to speed, wasting gas and possibly overstressing your breaks. While many hybrid cars will convert braking energy into energy that the car can then use again in the future, all other cars will only lose fuel efficiency when you drive like this.
4. Accelerate smoothly. When you stomp on the gas in order to jolt your car forward, you are probably using more gas than you have to. Instead, accelerate smoothly. This will decrease your wear and tear on your tires and will allow you to get going without burning a bunch of gas as your car tries to get quickly up to speed. Using your brake and gas pedals as little as possible will help you keep your gas consumption to a minimum. The smoother your driving habits are, the less of a toll they will take on your gas tank.
5. Use cruise control. Instead of trying to actively keep your car at a speed, you can put your vehicle on cruise control and it will largely take care of itself. Cruise control prevents you from constantly having to accelerate in order to go the speed limit, which can help you save gas. When you slow down and have to speed back up again, this process takes far more gas than if you had just maintained a constant speed. The only time you should not bother with cruise control is if you are having to stop and go so much that it will be completely impractical.
6. Lighten your car up. If you are hauling around hundreds of pounds of extra stuff in your car, now is the time to unload those things from your car. Many people will put a bang of sand or ice melt in the back of their vehicle in order to give it a little more weight on icy or snowy roads. As the ice and snow start to melt away, it’s time to lighten up your vehicle by removing that extra weight. While it’s great for giving your grip during the winter, it can wreak havoc on your gas costs for the rest of the year.
7. Try not to idle. If you often have to sit and wait for someone you are carpooling with, and you usually just let your car run, consider turning it off. You can usually still listen to the radio when the car is off, and because warmer temperatures mean that you usually do not have to defrost your car or “warm it up” in any way before it is ready to drive, you can waste less gas by just turning off your car when you are not actually driving it. While it’s probably not a good idea to shut your vehicle off while you are sitting in traffic (you don’t want to be trying to turn it back on when traffic finally starts to move again), at just about any other time, shut it down.
8. Don’t use your air conditioning. Especially during the spring, when it is nice enough outside to keep you cool in your vehicle just by rolling down your windows, don’t use your air conditioning. Air conditioning puts a serious strain on your engine, making it work harder, which, in turn, requires the use of more gas.
9. Avoid high traffic periods. If you know that you are going to spend an hour sitting, idling in traffic, why not just wait an hour and then drive home on clear roads, instead? You will waste much more gas just sitting in a traffic jam on the highway than you will if you are just driving straight from point A to point B.
These nine simple tricks can make the cost of gas, even if it does continue to stay low and affordable, much more reasonable! For more information to see our range of fuel-efficient vehicles, come visit our Allentown or Turnersville Kia dealerships!