Don't let skyrocketing fuel prices get the best of you. From BALANCE, a financial fitness service available to credit union members, here are 10 ways you can put a dent in your gas expense.
- Have a fuel-efficient car. Nothing will save you more money at the station. Large, heavy vehicles can burn up to three times as much fuel as a small car. If it's time for a trade in, seriously consider purchasing a car that was built to get good gas mileage.
- Keep your car tuned up. Making sure your air filter is clean, keeping your tires filled with the right amount of air, keeping your clutch adjusted and having enough clean engine oil in your car are all great ways to make your car efficient.
- Travel light. Remove heavy objects from your car and remove unused bike and luggage racks to make it more aerodynamic.
- Plan your route. Choose the route with the flattest terrain and fewest stops and avoid areas that you know have traffic jams and stop-and-go traffic. If you have a navigation system, use it to avoid getting lost and wasting gas.
- Conserve as you go. If possible, combine multiple errands into one trip. When it's appropriate, such as waiting for someone at the store, turn the car off rather than idling.
- Buy regular unleaded gasoline versus the highest priced gas. Most cars are built to take a lower grade.
- Drive smarter. Accelerate slowly when leaving the stop lights, and don't rev your engine. When you can, use cruise control on the open road. For greatest fuel efficiency, drive the speed limit.
- Don't warm up your engine, most newer cars don't need it.
- Use your air conditioner sparingly and keep the windows closed when traveling at high speeds.
- Reduce your use. Take your car only for necessary trips and whenever possible bike, walk, or use public transportation. Arrange for car pools to work so you can share the cost of gas.
If you have any questions or if we can help you in any way, please contact Member Services at (804) 323-6800 or (800) 285-6609.