General Question

cadetjoecool's avatar

What are some REAL ways to save on gas?

Asked by cadetjoecool (215 points ) February 19th, 2011

What are some ways to save on gas that actually work?

If any of this matters here is some info about my car:
It’s a ‘97 Mercury Sable (the car not the wagon!)
There are 70,000 miles on it.
I think it has synthetic oil.

Thanks a bunch!

Observing members: 0 Composing members: 0

13 Answers

zenvelo's avatar

Walk, ride a bike, take public transit.

The most effective ways are to make sure your engine is in tune, your tires are properly inflated, and you drive conservatively.

BarnacleBill's avatar

Don’t drive your friends around. I know this is hard because you don’t want to be a jerk to your friends without a car, but that will drain your gas tank quicker than anything. If all else fails, say no and blame your parents.

Yoman's avatar

I recently began ride sharing with a guy who lives near my home, and works near my job. We both save money on gas, and we get to work faster because we can use the car-pool lane. You can go online and register in a ride share database for your area. If you are willing to be a little flexible, this is a great way to save gas.

Adirondackwannabe's avatar

Go easy on the gas and brake pedals. Easy acceleration and let the car slow before stops with your foot off the gas.

Coloma's avatar

Drive less.

I have been doing this for awhile now as winter is a slow period for my work.

I will sometimes not go anywhere for several days unless it is work related.

Being disciplined enough to not be randomly running around doing and buying useless stuff. lol

Otherwise follow @Adirondackwannabe ‘s advice.

gasman's avatar

Turn off the engine if you’re going to idle for more than about a minute. For example, at drive-thru windows, waiting for long freight trains, etc. Don’t let it warm up more than about 30 seconds in cold weather before driving away. Zero miles per gallon will ruin your average.

Coast as much as possible. Don’t burn gasoline just to heat your brakes!

KatawaGrey's avatar

When you are on the highway, don’t drive too fast. Believe it or not, but optimum gas mileage at least, in my car can be had between 65 and 80 miles an hour.

Clean your car out. If your car is heavier, you will use more gas.

Other than that, there’s not much I can say that hasn’t already been said.

thorninmud's avatar

I drive a Honda Fit with a gas mileage readout on the dash. For awhile, I made a game out of seeing how much I could influence the MPG by changing my driving style in my long city commute. So I went very easy on acceleration, and coasted as much as absolutely possible. Over a few days, I say the average MPGs edge up by a few tenths. Then I let my 18 year old son drive. His philosophy is to see how quickly he can get from one stop sign or red light to another. I just knew that the mileage would plummet.But it didn’t. At all.

On the other hand, out on the highway, I coax up to 4 MPG more out of the car than does my wife. I try to avoid acceleration as much as possible, while she constantly brakes and then gooses the gas.

So I’ve concluded that little driving adjustments are hardly worth the extra attention in city situations, but make a meaningful difference on the open road.

Your mileage may vary.

hobbitsubculture's avatar

Google “hypermiling.”

buster's avatar

I never ride in a car for trips less than a few miles unless its freezing outside including my commute to work. Its less than a mile to the grocery and beerstore. I always skate, walk, bike, to these places since it is a daily commute to me. This isn’t unusual in places like Portland Oregon but people here in smalltown Tennessee think im crazy for skating four blocks for a six pack.

squirbel's avatar

When I was a college student, this was my primary concern. I asked this question of many people, and out of the various advice I received, I found these to work the best:

- Have a light foot on the gas pedal. Don’t feel pressured to accelerate fast, because it’s not a race. Sure, some hotheads may get irritated with you, just move out of their way. They aren’t paying your gas bills.
– Change your routes, so you make as many right turns as possible, to keep your car moving. Red lights are very bad for gas.
– Take as many freeways as possible. Freeways use less gas.
– Understand that the most gas is used when you are idle, and when you accelerate. When your car is at a steady speed, less gas is used to keep it there.

I wish I still obeyed these rules, because I used to be able to use a full tank of gas for three weeks [Toyota Camry]. Nowadays I take the luxury of racing random people at stoplights. x.x

Of course, walking and biking would offer the most satisfaction.

jerv's avatar

Learning to coast is a great way to save gas. You don’t need to be on the gas all the time. There are times where I go a mile or two without my foot on the gas and am still keeping up with traffic.Hell, back East, there was one time my roomie and I went 12 miles (most of it at well above the speed limit) without even having the engine on at all!

Keep your tires hard. I run mine near/at the maximum safe rating on the sidewalls. That reduces rolling resistance.

@hobbitsubculture Many of the tips I’ve heard from hypermilers either put wear on the car that will offset the savings in gas (starters are expensive) or invoke more rage than just honking horns and middle fingers and _may make you a legitimate (read “ticketable”) hazard on the road.
If you want to cause accidents and/or rip your car’s flywheel to shreds then I don’t want to be on the road with you :P

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