Minus those with electric cars, we’re all feeling the pain of record-high gas prices. A lot of factors got us here, and unfortunately it’s not going away anytime soon. Here are a few thoughts that may help alleviate the sting:
1) Don’t Drive Like an Angry Teenager – The most obvious first. Stepping hard on the gas burns 15-30% more gas than a easy push on the pedal and your car’s gas mileage drops precipitously once you pass 50 MPH. I’m not saying drive 50 on the highway, just take it easy when considering breaking the speed limit.
2) Mind Cruise Control – It’s convenient, but in certain conditions they’re terrible. Going up hills and hitting resume when you’re speed is a lot lower than the set speed are 2 I’ve noticed.
3) Keep Your Tires Inflated – In 2009 during the last gas crisis, then-President Obama made this point. According to the Department of Energy, each tire underinflated by 10 PSI degrades fuel economy by 3.3%. All tires underinflated by 10% reduces your fuel economy by a full 10%. On another note, it’s nice to see gas stations featuring air pumps with integrated pressure meters.
4) Replace Spark Plugs – Each cylinder in your engine has a spark plug. Faulty ones can decrease fuel economy by a whopping 30%. If your mileage suddenly drops, there’s a good chance you have a misfiring spark plug.
5) Rotate Your Tires – Instead of rolling smoothly, a unaligned tire actually creates drag on your car. Improper alignment can hinder your efficiency by a full 10%. If your steering wheel vibrates when you drive, they’re likely out of rotation.
6) Leave Extra Weight at Home – For every 100 lbs of passenger or equipment. you lose roughly 1% of your gas mileage. I mean, carpooling is still the way to go, just know being environmentally conscious is going to cost you!
7) Use the Upside App – FYI I have no business relationship with this company. Upside is an app that prices near gas stations and actually gives you cash back on purchases. I’ve only gotten $11.37 in the 5 or so times I’ve used it, but I’ve also found the cheapest local gas while in unfamiliar areas.