High Gas Prices – Fuel Economy and Conservation Tips to Save Money

High Gas Prices – Fuel Economy and Conservation Tips to Save Money

Assistant professor of mechanical engineering, Dr. Krishan Kumar Bhatia, of Rowan University, Glassboro, N.J. offers tips to help consumers save money and stretch their gas consumption.

Tip 1: Try to drive less often. Some things like commuting we may not have a choice, but on shopping trips and outings can be limited or grouped together to save on gas consumption. He suggests that if you go to church on Sunday regularly and goes grocery shopping on Monday, you might be better off combining all your grocery shopping on Sunday. If you can keep your shopping trips down to once a week instead of dozens you will save on gas. He also suggests planning your driving to be outside of rush hour traffic to improve gas mileage.

Tip 2: Drive with calm and don’t be in a hurry to race to the stop light to brake suddenly. If you drive in a hurry, you can consume more fuel, as much as 33 percent more for highway driving. If you are speeding, slow down. For every 5 mph over 60 mph your fuel economy drops by 10 percent.

Tip 3: Keep your vehicle well maintained. It is important to make sure that your tires have the proper tire pressure. Improve your cars performance by changing the spark plugs, air filter and oil on a timely basis. If you are carrying excess unnecessary weight in your vehicle, take it out. So if you haven’t cleaned out your trunk lately, it wouldn’t hurt to empty out your vehicle for a cleaning.

Tip 4: If you are lucky enough to shopping for a new car, look for new hybrid car technologies. Bhatia calculates that the cost of gas over the lifetime of the vehicle is a long-term financial weight with fuel guzzling low rated mpg vehicle. “Over the lifetime of a vehicle, you will end up spending more for fuel than for the vehicle itself,” he says. He estimates that a 20 mpg vehicle driven for 200,000 miles will spend $30,000 for fuel if the gas is at $3 per gallon. If the vehicle was more fuel efficient at 35 mpg you would you would spend $17,200 for the same 200,000 miles. That adds up to a $12,800 savings. If you purchase a smaller vehicle you also save money on the initial cost of the vehicle. He estimates you would save around $10,000 in the purchase price for a smaller car instead of an SUV. He suggests for the larger families that need the roomier vehicles to look into buying wagons and crossover vehicles.

Bhatia recommends checking out the Department of Energy’s Annual Fuel Economy Guide which is available for free at http://www.fueleconomy.gov.

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