May 21,2006 00:00
1. Keep an eye on your gas consumption
The more aware you are of the amount of fuel that you use the more you can do to try to reduce your gas costs.
If you notice that your gas efficiency is decreasing it could be an indicating factor that your car needs servicing.
Make weekly comparisons with your fuel log that you keep in you car to see how much your gas consumption is going up and your mileage per gallon is going down.
If you are finding that you are constantly seeing less and less performance from your car and spending more for gas at the fuel pump then you'll know that you need to take action so that you can start seeing a savings in your gas economy rather than a constant deficit.
2. Buy gas from a busy station
Try to buy your gas from a gas station that is consistently busy and therefore has its underground tanks filled on a regular basis.
Gas stations that are slow will have gas that has been sitting in underground tanks for longer periods of time, leading to gas contamination.
This contamination can mean that the gas you are purchasing is less powerful than fresh gas and will decrease your fuel economy.
Try to time your visits to busier gas stations at those busy times but make sure that you're not in a rush to get anywhere.
If you're late for an appointment you may find yourself giving up in frustration if you have to wait to purchase your gas and then find yourself moving over to a gas station that has a higher gas cost for the day.
3. Turn the nozzle
When you have finished filling up your gas tank try turning the nozzle of the hose a full 180 degrees.
This will drain a bit more gas into your tank; in some cases up to an entire half cup that would otherwise be a bonus to the next gas customer.
Once you get into the habit of turning the hose you'll find yourself doing it without thinking. That extra half cup that you get each time that you fill your gas tank can add up to a lot of extra gas at the end of the year that you never have known about.
4. High octane gas
For most cars these days, buying higher octane gas is a waste of your money. Regular unleaded has approximately 87 octane already and is fine for your vehicle.
By avoiding buying high octane gas you'll be saving a large amount of money over a period of time.
High octane gas is always more expensive at the gas pumps so the next time that you feel guilty for filling up your SUV with regular gas you can be assured that no harm will come to your vehicle.
Octane is simply a measurement of how difficult it is to ignite the gas in your car and has nothing to do with the quality of the gas. If you are experiencing engine pings, rattles, or knocks you can switch to high octane gas.
However, you shouldn't be experiencing any of those knocks and rattles if you are keeping your vehicle maintained and making sure that you don't miss those scheduled maintenance checkups.
If you are driving a new model car you definitely shouldn't be hearing any pings or rattles and if you are you should take your vehicle to a mechanic.
5. Avoid topping off
Try to avoid topping off at the gas pumps. When you purchase just a bit of gas at the gas station the pump doesn't have enough time to really activate, resulting in short bursts of fuel that may short change you from the amount of gas that you are purchasing.
The best time to replenish your gas tank is when you have half a tank or less left in your vehicle, or when you find a gas price that you just can't afford to miss.