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10 Tips on How to Get More Bang for Your Buck at the Gas Pump

10 Tips for Getting the Most Bang for Your Buck at the Gas Pump

The average national gas price is $3.13 per gallon, representing a $.48 per gallon increase from a year ago. And many analysts are predicting that prices will continue to climb throughout 2011. Rather than digging deeper into the wallet to pay more, many people are looking (and finding) ways to save money at the gas pump.

“Most of the time, we drive around without much thought about economizing on fuel,” says Barbara Terry. “But there are many things we can do to save gas. Especially during tough economic times and when gas prices are up, we should be making an effort to keep those costs lower.”

Most people realize that steps like not using your air conditioner can help to save fuel. But there are many other things that one can do, as well. Here are 10 ways to help keep more money in your pocket, rather than in your gas tank:

1. Check monthly to make sure that your tires are properly inflated. If possible, do it when it is not too cold or too hot.

2. Always get your regularly scheduled oil change and new oil filter. This is a major factor in keeping your car running well. And when it runs well, it uses less fuel.

3. Avoid driving too fast or taking off quickly, known as “jack rabbit” starts. Instead, drive at a steady pace that is within the speed limit.

4. Extra weight can make you use more fuel, so get rid of extra cargo or carriers that you are not using.

5. Skip modifications to your vehicle, which can use more fuel, such as spoilers and large rims.

6. Keep your vehicle’s hauling capacity in mind if you will be pulling anything. Going over that limit will strain your vehicle, may damage it, and will use more fuel.

7. Watch for warning lights. If they come on, get the car checked out to see what the problem is. Unaddressed, these underlying problems may use more fuel. 

8. Avoid letting your engine run a long time to warm up. A lot of fuel is being burned up in that time.

9. Rather than run all around, making multiple trips to handle errands, try to map them out and do them all in just one well-planned trip.

10. Consider carpooling, especially if you live near someone who works at the same place. This can save a lot of gas money, and it is better for the environment.

“You could drive a vehicle with a smaller engine to save gas, as well,” adds Terry. “But if you are like me, you want the power of a larger engine. In that case, just keep some of these tips in mind to help save on your fuel costs.”

Terry is an automotive expert, off road racer and author of the book “How Athletes Roll” (Comfort Publishing, 2010), as well as the host of the new “How Athletes Roll” radio show. She has been providing expert auto advice for years.

About Barbara Terry

Barbara Terry is a highly sought-after automotive expert, speaking to media outlets across the country on a wide variety of auto-related issues and topics. She is also an off-road racecar driver. She has been featured in over 100 publications and has made over 400 television and radio appearances since 2006. She launched her weekly/national radio show on November 17, 2010. To learn more about Barbara Terry, visit Barbara Terry. To learn more about her book, visit “How Athletes Roll."