Winning free gasoline for a year from Shell Oil would be great (see yesterday’s post). But if you don’t win, here are some ways to reduce the amount of fuel you use, which can save you money.
Don’t turn your car on until you’re ready to go and shut it off once you’ve arrived. — This is the time of year in Erie when the inside of my car is no longer an icebox but hasn’t yet become an oven. So when I get in, I don’t need to get the defroster or air conditioner going asap. I wait to start the ignition until I’ve settled in, adjusted my seat, put on my belt. When I get to my destination, I turn the car off and then I take off my belt, put up the windows, etc. Sure, it might be just a few seconds of gas savings at the start and end of each trip, but that adds up.
Don’t idle. — If you find yourself stuck in a drive-thru, shut your vehicle off. I’ve found various websites that say that idling for as few as 30 seconds or even 10 seconds uses more fuel than restarting an engine. I try to shut mine off if I expect to be waiting more than a minute.
Don’t be aggressive. — I’ve come across several sources that said that speeding, rapid acceleration and rapid braking can lower your gas mileage and therefore cost you money.