18/09/03 BY GERRY
When gas prices go up, opportunists come out. Dozens of internet sites are currently advertising gadgets and additives that claim they improve gas mileage. However the government says most of these things don’t even work.
At $4.00 a gallon I will spend about $2900.00 on gas this year for one car. I had to figure out a way to up my miles per gallon (mpg) without it costing me a lot of money. I’ve been testing and tweaking for about six months and have finally come up with a plan on how to save money on gas.
O.K. let’s start. I drive a 2007 Chevy Cobalt with a 4 cylinder engine and it has 104,000 miles on it. When I started this the car was getting 26 mpg.
First I changed the oil and put our Synthetic Blend Oil in it and made sure all the tires had the proper air pressure in them.
Then I tuned it up. I replaced the spark plugs (cause they had over 100,000 miles on them) and changed the air filter (cause it was dirty).
I emptied the trunk except for the spare tire and the jack. I had been carrying stuff in there for months that had no business in there. If you play golf only once a month, don’t carry your golf clubs with you all month. It’s costing you money!
I also started paying attention to my driving habits. Were my starts and stops jerky? Was I waiting to the last second to stop?
Once I discovered I was driving sort of aggressively, I changed my driving habits. Aggressive driving can dramatically lower your fuel economy.
I started to anticipate merging traffic. I accelerated and decelerated smoothly to keep with the flow of traffic.
I stopped all those jack rabbit starts from go lights and stop signs. Yes, stop lights should be called go lights because that’s what they do, they keep traffic going. Just look at what happens when one is broken.
I started looking ahead for go lights and stop signs and took my foot off the accelerator long before I had to step on the brakes (this will also help to preserve your brake pads). I coast a lot more now.
Well all those things worked very well. They took me from 26 mpg to 30 mpg. I thought that was it. There’s no way I could get more than 30 mpg from this car.
But, there was one thing I hadn’t tried yet.
And that one thing got me an extra 3 mpg. It was so simple and had heard it time and time again that I kick myself for not doing it sooner. It’s just no one had actually done it and could tell me how much better gas mileage I could get.
What is that one simple thing that I already knew (and you probably already know it too) but didn’t want to do?
Drive 60 mph on the highway!
I started driving 60 mph on the highway. Yes, I know I should be driving 60 mph anyway because that’s the speed limit but I’m a 70 mph guy myself and have the tickets to prove it.
Once I started driving 60 mph my mpg shot up to 33.
It wasn’t easy though, I couldn’t stand people passing me up. It takes a little getting used to but the reward is well worth it.
There you have it. That’s all I did. And the good part is that the only thing that cost me any money was the oil and air filter change and the tune up. All the other stuff is free.
By doing these things I can save $720.00 over a one year time span. And basically it just means that instead of filling up every 6 days I’m filling up every 8 days. By extending my fill up by 2 days I save $720.00 a year.
With today’s high gas prices it’s well worth taking a few moments out of your day to make minor adjustments that will improve your gas mileage.
Let me know what you drive and how many miles you get to the gallon.