Drive Your Car with Gas Efficiency This Winter
Saving Money operating a motor vehicle is sometimes a challenge. In the midst of a long and seemingly endless New Hampshire winter it isn't uncommon to find the needle on your car's gas gauge fluttering pathetically over that ominous EMPTY indicator. New England winters are notorious for requiring drivers to crank up their heaters for bodily warmth and in order to defrost their impossibly frozen windshields. This reality for the embattled New Englander is trying and taxing enough, but a trip to the pump can prove downright depressing these days with gas prices constantly changing.
Here are 5 ways to Increase Gas Efficiency
1. Buy gasoline during coolest time of day – early morning or late evening is best. During these times gasoline is densest. Remember you get charged for volume, not density! This way you get more bang for your buck.
2. Lay off the gas pedal! Another way to use gas more efficiently is to drive more slowly. Driving faster in lower gears uses 40-45% more fuel than when in higher gears. In other words, let Vin Diesel and the "Fast Five" crew handle the high speeds and tire-screeching on city streets. If you have to drive fast (which we don't recommend for safety and legal reasons) at least do it on the highway where you aren't burning up gas like tissue paper.
3. Keep your tire PSI up near the maximum amount of recommended pressure. The cold air has a way of decreasing tire pressure, as the air inside them moves less and tends to shrink up. Less-movement means less air expansion, which results in flatter tires and really hampers your fuel efficiency. Pull a Bill Nye the Science Guy and use your "Great Tire Inflation Pump of Science" to keep your car running smoothly in the colder weather.
4. Go easy on the seat warmers and defrosting. Warming up your car longer than 30-40 seconds is excessive and a frankly ridiculous habit weaned from urban legends and bad advice from superstitious mechanics. Your engine is ready to go usually right after it's revved up, and sitting idle to "warm it up" will only use more fuel. Additionally, maxing out your interior air gauges and cranking your seat warmers will likewise use more fuel. Try to limit your use of these convenient, but sometimes costly, vehicular features. Most of the ice on the outside can be cleared away with a little elbow grease and a plastic scraper. Remember that when you're on a budget that sometimes sacrificing luxuries is a necessity for survival.
5. Make sure you're on time with your oil changes! Nothing will bog your vehicle down quite like dirty oil, especially in the midst of a brutal winter. Clean oil increases fuel economy, and many places offer special deals on oil changes during the winter months. There you have it! We've given you five quick tips for increasing fuel efficiency this winter.