Things We Do That Cost Us Money At The Gas Pump
MSNBC recently published a thorough look at the common mistakes drivers make that end up wasting gas. Their data came from the government, auto consumer advocates and numerous rental car outlets. Here are the highlights:
Use the air conditioner properly: Yes we know it's been hot lately, but using the A/C can definitely reduce your gas mileage. At slower speeds it's recommended you turn it off all together and just roll your windows down. The engine will have to work harder to produce cool air at slow speeds. At speeds over 50, using the A/C is better, but if you can get away with using the "vent" setting or opening the windows, do it.
Excessive idling: This one seems obvious but how many times have you seen a car just sitting there running for what seems like a few minutes? MSNBC found that for every two minutes a car is idling, it uses the same amount of fuel as a mile's drive. Keep that in mind next time you're just running in somewhere real fast and want to leave the car on.
Stopping too much on a road trip: Taking a few short trips from a cold start can use double the fuel used on a trip covering the same distance when the engine is warm, according to the Federal Trade Commission. Warmed-up engines operate more efficiently (and, in turn, offer better gas mileage) so Edmunds.com says to avoid an excessive number of stops on the next road trip. Limit those bathroom breaks if you can!