How to Save Money When Buying Gas
With the price of gas skyrocketing seemingly every day, you want to save money when buying the valuable fuel that keeps your vehicle going. Here are a few tips for doing just that from Boyle Buick GMC in Abingdon, MD.
The most obvious way to save money when buying gas is to shop around and find the station with the least expensive fuel. But you’re going to waste more gas driving from place to place to figure out costs.
You can avoid that by downloading the GasBuddy app to your smartphone or by browsing the GasBuddy website. You’ll discover the price of gas at the stations in your area as reported by your fellow drivers. You can then find the one with the lowest cost.
Late-model GMCs will have an infotainment system that already includes SiriusXM® Travel Link/NAV traffic, which shows you the latest gas prices for stations near your current location.
Buy a vehicle with better MPG.
If you buy a car that gets an EPA-estimated 32 MPG combined, you’ll spend half as much on gas than if you buy one with an EPA-estimated 16 MPG combined. If you come to our dealership for a test drive, our sales consultants can show you vehicles that top the MPG charts. Depending on how much you drive, you may find it worth the savings to trade your gas guzzler for the latest fuel-efficient auto.
Inflate your tires.
Underinflated tires lower your gas mileage. According to the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE), a 1-PSI drop from your four towers drops your MPG by 0.1 percent. This also wears your tires out about 10 percent faster.
If your car doesn’t have a Tire Pressure Monitoring System, you can buy a tire gauge at any auto parts store. When you stop for gas, you can use this device to reveal your pressure. If you’re underinflated, add air using the pressure pump at the gas station.
Sign up for rewards.
Many credit card companies offer you points when you buy fuel, which you can then exchange for rewards or to pay off your debt. Some also offer cash back on every purchase. Keep in mind that these cards may have higher-than-average interest rates, which you can avoid by paying the bill in full each month.
Some grocery stores and gas stations also have rewards programs that let you buy gas with your points. Many of those programs cost nothing to join.
Minimize AC use.
Your air conditioner feels refreshing on a hot day. But it can also reduce your fuel economy because the engine has to work harder. Consumer Reports that on a day that the temperature approaches 85 degrees, turning on the A/C can reduce engine efficiency by 1 to 4 MPG. Opening the window at speeds of 65 MPH can keep you cool while not penalizing aerodynamics with too much drag.
Lay off the gas pedal.
When your car goes faster, it decreases fuel economy because of air resistance and rolling resistance. The DOE says that for light-duty vehicles, every 5 MPH that you drive over 50 MPH increases fuel consumption by over 6 percent. In contrast, reducing speed by 5 to 10 MPH improves fuel efficiency by 7 to 14 percent. If you have cruise control, turn it on to keep your speed constant on the highway. You use more energy whenever you accelerate.
Rather than running several small errands in your car throughout the day, combine them into one longer trip at a time when fewer vehicles are on the road. You’ll not only save time but gas. Many short trips can use up twice as much fuel as one big trip that travels the same distance.
When you drive with cold engine fluids, friction within components increases, which lowers engine efficiency. Making one long trip reduces the time that the engine runs cold.
Lighten the load.
Adding weight to your car forces an engine to work harder and use up more fuel. The DOE estimates that every 100 additional pounds in your trunk reduce fuel efficiency by about 1 percent. Putting extra cargo on the roof rails also increases drag, which drops fuel economy by 10 to 25 percent at 65 to 75 MPH. To improve fuel economy, lighten your car’s load.