We’re all feeling the pain at the pump as we watch our total bill climb. If you’re tired of spending a small fortune on gas every month, here are hacks from an auto mechanic that can save you money.
1. Keep Up With Maintenance
One of the easiest ways to save money on gas is to keep up with regular car maintenance. Don’t skip an oil change. Make sure your tires are inflated to around 35 PSI. You should also check your air filter and change it every 12,000 to 15,000 miles. Be sure to replace your spark plugs if they’re misfiring. These are straightforward things one mechanic shares recommends regularly checking. Doing so will help your vehicle perform optimally.
2. Mind Your Driving Habits
Did you know that your driving style matters? Practice coasting. EV owners have nailed this technique because they can see its impact on their range. And the same is true of gas cars. Accelerate slowly and avoid sudden stops to use less gas.
3. Choose the Right Octane Rating
The same mechanic says that most cars are designed to run on 87-octane gas. Some people believe that using 91-octane gas will improve their gas mileage, but this is not true. Stick with the manufacturer’s recommendation for the best results for each car.
4. Don’t Ignore the Check Engine Light
The check engine light indicates issues in your car. Even a small issue could affect your gas mileage. Don’t ignore it. Instead, visit an auto store to have your car’s diagnostic codes checked.
5. Embrace Cruise Control
I have never used cruise control because it freaks me out not to be manually in control of my speed. However, if you want to save gas, use cruise control, especially if you’re on highways. It’ll help you maintain a steady speed and reduce fuel use.
6. Be Mindful of Air Conditioning Usage
I live in Texas, so I couldn’t relate to this tip. But if you live in an area where the weather is bearable, consider turning off the AC. If you’re in a pinch, this can be a great way to improve your fuel efficiency.
7. Question Your GPS
This is another one that I am highly guilty of. Don’t blindly follow your GPS route. I like to stick my destination in Apple Maps and study it beforehand, especially on long road trips. You might find shortcuts that can shave off 50-100 miles from your journey if traveling far. Not only that, but many apps have eco-friendly settings you can select that will show you how much fuel you’ll save compared to other routes.
8. Skip Gas Additives
Many people swear by the additives in gas to increase fuel efficiency, but the hard truth is that these additives are not worth it. The tiny sliver of fuel efficiency will not be worth the cost of the additives.
9. Hybrid Owners Use Eco-Boost
If you drive a hybrid, use the EcoBoost setting. You may be surprised to see just how much gas you can save by doing this. Hybrid cars are specifically designed to help owners save on gas. So, if you have the EcoBoost button, use it.
10. Consider a Gas Credit Card
My husband and I have a credit card for our favorite gas station, and they give us 15% cash back on our gas costs. Many major gas stations offer rewards programs where you can save an easy five cents per gallon every time you fill up. Just be mindful of that APR and minimum monthly payments so you’re not paying more for your gas purchases in the long run.
11. Join Cashback Apps for Gas Stations
I joined so many money-saving apps over the years. GasBuddy helps you to find the best-priced gas stations near you, and Upside is another app that pays out cash rewards based on the amount of gas you buy and which station you purchase it from. Each gas station will have different cashback percentages offered to customers.
12. Avoid Gas-Guzzlers
If you’re trying to save money on gas, you should avoid gas guzzlers. Period.
13. Just Drive Less
This is my favorite tip because I am a homebody. The absolute best way to save money on gas is to drive less. Run errands and get everything you need in one trip. Try to find someone to carpool with to work. Let your kids take the bus to school. Have groceries delivered to your home. There are endless ways that you can drive less.