Do you get zinged a little every time you fill up your gas tank? Most of our Carrington College campuses have great freeway access, like our Phoenix, AZ, Portland, OR, and Mesquite, TX campuses for example, so we know that quite a few of you travel a fair distance every day.
But no matter whether you drive cross-town or cross-state, here are some simple gas saving tips to help ease your pain at the pump
- Websites and apps like www.gasbuddy.com can help track down the cheapest gas in town; just don’t drive 10 miles to save 2c a gallon. You’ll spend more than you’ll save.
- Try to keep you car properly maintained. Get it serviced on schedule, use ‘Energy Conserving’ motor oil, and keep your tires inflated and wheels aligned to help improve your gas mileage.
- Empty out your trunk; the more weight you carry, the more gas you burn. Don’t carry around heavy text books unless you need them that day!
- Car pool if you can! Take turns to drive. Sharing a ride to school with a friend will cut your gas cost by 50%.
- If you’re waiting for someone, turn off the engine. Your pocket book, and the environment, will appreciate it!
- Most engines no longer need warming up on cold mornings; just get in and go, assuming the windshield is defrosted. (Not a problem for our Arizona students!)
- Running the air conditioning burns through a lot more gas (definitely a problem for AZ students!) Open windows if driving around town, or check whether the ‘economy’ setting that circulates air without chilling works.
- Don’t open the windows while driving on the freeway. The increased wind resistance creates more drag on the vehicle and may use more gas than the a/c.
- If you have it, and it is safe to do so, use cruise control on freeway trips; it will improve your fuel economy by maintaining steady speeds.
- Talking of steady speeds, stick to the limit. Traveling over 60 mph burns gas more quickly. (Which is why many of our speed limits are still 55 mph!
- Smarter driving can save you money. Pulling away gently and stopping slowly can preserve fuel and extend the life of your brakes.
- If you use credit cards, look out for cards that offer a rebate for gas purchases; sometimes as much as 2% to 5%. Read the fine print because fees, charges, interest rates, and benefits can vary among credit card issuers.
They say that we will hit $5 a gallon before too long, but maybe some of these hints will help you squeeze a few extra miles out of your tank. Whatever you do, be safe, and don’t text and drive!
Tips sourced via the Federal Trade Commission (FTC), the nation’s consumer protection agency.