How to Get the Most Out of Your Fuel Budget


With rising fuel costs cutting into everyone’s budget, it can be very important to find some good ways to optimize the gas mileage of your vehicle. There are some simple rules of thumb you can follow to get the most from the gasoline that you put in your tank every week. Regular vehicle maintenance and common sense can save you quite a bit of money when it comes to fueling your car or truck.

Tire Pressure is Important

Check your tires regularly. You can purchase a small tire pressure gauge at most convenience stores, and they are even carried at many grocery stores. If you check your tire pressure every other day, or at least once a week, you can be sure that they are filled with the right amount of air at all times. Tires with low pressure cause your car to work harder to maintain its regular speed, which means that it will burn more fuel. When you keep your tires filled properly, they will increase your gas mileage substantially. Properly filled tires can also increase your overall safety while driving.

Consider What Time of Day You Fill Your Tank

There are definitely times of day that are better for filling your gas tank. The cooler the air, the more compressed the fuel is in the tank. When the air is warmer, the fuel produces more vapors, which means you have to pump more to get the same amount. Try to fill your tank early in the morning, or late in the evening. The reduced vapors of filling your tank at the coolest times of day will give you more gas for your money, and it also decreases the environmental impact of pumping gas, which is good for everyone.

Idling Can Be Expensive

Your car burns gas much more quickly when it is idling than when it is moving. If possible, avoid idling for long periods of time. When you know that you will be sitting in one place for an extended time, turn off your car completely. You may notice a substantial increase in your car’s performance and gas mileage when you refrain from idling the engine too often. Idling can also cause your engine to overheat more quickly, and can wear your engine out if done too often. Restarting your car after you have been sitting for a few minutes uses far less gasoline than sitting and idling.

Increase Aerodynamics

The drag of the wind on your car when you drive has to be compensated for by your engine pushing harder. If you have several attachments on your car or truck, they may be causing you to use more gasoline than you would like to use. Remove extra luggage racks or light bars so that your car or truck will move more easily through the wind when you drive. You’ll notice that your gas mileage improves, and there will probably be an improvement in the way your car or truck handles at high speeds, as well.

Tread Lightly

You can have a direct impact on reducing your fuel budget simply by driving more slowly. Always accelerate at a steady pace, and don’t drive faster than the speed limit. The optimal speed for fuel consumption is 55 mph. Any time you drive faster than that, you are burning excess fuel. It may not always be practical to drive at 55, but when you have the opportunity you should take advantage of it. Steady acceleration and deceleration is also much easier on your fuel consumption than quick starts and stops. It can be tough to change your driving habits, but your bank account will appreciate it.

This post was written by

jason – who has written posts on Budget Clowns.
Father of three and married to a lovely women. Always looking for ways to save money, and invest it properly for my children's future.

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