Intro: How to Save Gas
- I actually created this instructable over a year ago, but I never got around to posting it. Everything is still applicable though!
Step 1: First and Foremost
The first questions to take into consider when trying to save gas are...
*How close do i live to work?
*Is my car a gas guzzler?
The reason this is important is because many people believe that they need to purchase hybrids just so that they pollute less and save gas money; however, that is not always the case. For example, if I own a hummer and get 10 mpg and you own a hybrid and get 45 mpg, yet you live 5 times farther from your work than i do, then you're carbon footprint is the same, if not worse. So, yes, buying a nice new hybrid is important, but also consider either moving closer to work or possibly getting transferred to a closer satellite office if applicable.
Step 2: Fill Up at Night
By filling up your gas tank at either night time or EARLY in the morning, not only do you have to wait less in line, but you also get more gas. This is because the gas is colder and therefore more dense, meaning that less evaporates. Surprisingly, over time, even this little bit will add up.
Step 3: Clean Your Car Out!
Don't have your car filled up with trash and useless garbage because that is unnecessary weight that your engine must lug around. Simple physics says this means that the engine is doing more work for the same goal, therefore converting more gas into energy and lessening your MPG. Just by removing your unused gym bag and other accumulated items from your trunk and backseat, you may gain more miles overall. This certainly wont break the bank, but hey, a penny saved is a penny earned.
Step 4: No Jackrabbitting
Jack rabbit starts and stops DESTROY fuel efficiency. Just think back to Newton...and object in motion tends to stay in motion, an object at rest stays at rest. Therefore, by forcing your car to either Stop or Go more quickly you are requiring the engine to do more work yet again lessening your MPG. Also, what good is accelerating that much faster from a red light? Civil Engineers engineer the timing of traffic lights to optimize traffic flow, not hinder it. A little known but true fact is that by driving the speed limit and not jack rabbit starting or stopping, you can basically hit almost every green light on cue. Certainly this doesn't hold true at 6 o'clock rush hour; however, try it one afternoon. Drive the speed limit (yes it will seem slow but just think tortoise and hare) and be amazed at how many less red lights are hit. By hitting less red lights you are boosting your MPG dramatically as sitting still with the engine idling gets 0 MPG yet still burns fuel the same as driving at a steady speed.
This instructable is not intended to sound preachy, so if it does, sorry. I'll edit it if there are complaints.
Step 5: Don't Top Off at the Pump
By topping off at the pump, sure you are squeezing your pennies when the gas is a little beat cheaper; however, because the fuel level is higher than recommended, some of it may actually spill out wasting both the precious fuel and your hard earned money. So, save your money and don't top off!
Step 6: Tighten Gas Cap
Obvious and dumb as this sounds, by making sure your gas cap is properly tightened, you can prevent your gas from literally vanishing from under your feet. Each year, tons of gas evaporates from improperly tightened or missing gas caps...dont add to that statistic...save your money and help the environment.
Step 7: Regular Maintenance
Make sure your tires are properly inflated. if the tires are under-inflated, the engine must do more work to have an essentially flat object roll (there will be a large flat spot where the tire contacts the road if the pressure is low enough). My inflating your tires properly, the engine will have an easier time and you will save more money...both in gas and tires as your maintained tires and engine will last longer than abused ones.
- The chances of having low tire pressure is 33.3% or 1 in 3 cars on the road. This leads to over 30,000 injuries and nearly 700 fatalities every year. These statistics are provided by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA). While accidents and injuries are the long lasting effects of low tire pressure, daily effects can be seen in your gas bill. The U.S. Department of Energy says that Americans waste 3.56 million gallons of gas or $14.2 million in gas a day at $4 a gallon due to tire pressure. For every penny increase in the gas price, an additional $35,600 is lost in low tire pressure gas loss in America.
Step 8: Waste Not
Back to simple physics...you cant expect an engine operating under the standard load of moving a vehicle to use the same amount of fuel as one both moving that vehicle and spinning the air-conditioning compressor. So...if it's hot out, roll down your window once in a while. This will increase your gas mileage as well as cool you off. Now, if it's hot out and you need to go to a wedding or something where you can't be all sweaty, then certainly the aircondioner is the better option. Also, if its a really hot day outside and a blizzard inside of your car, then when you eventually need to get out of your vehicle (yes, this is inevitable), it will be such a shock of temperature change. I dont know about you guys, but i know that i get stomach aches when i go outside on a hot day after being in the arctic chill of air-conditioning.
I am not trying to tell people "do this always" or "never do that again". Nobody is perfect; however, by trying to incorporate these ideas into the everyday, you will certainly save money and do your share to help the environment.