comments

Drivers offer tips on how to conserve gas

By: ToLewis, The Press Tribune
-A +A

While gas prices in the region are at a slow and steady decline, consumers are still finding ways to conserve fuel.

Aside from the obvious search for the cheapest gas, some drivers say that being a little more conscious about the way you drive will not only make you a safer, more courteous driver, it could also save you money.

Jenny Verschuur commutes from Sacramento to Roseville for work every day and says that planning out her errand shopping is one way she is able to save a little at the pump.

“The one thing I try to focus on is if I need to run an errand, I try to do a bunch of things at the same time,” Verschuur said. “For time savings, it just makes sense, rather than going to the store 50 times.”

Other Roseville drivers offered these five tips on how to save gas and spend less time, and money, at the pump:

1. Slow down

Tim Petty, of Roseville, said he simply drives slower to conserve gas.

“Everybody is on a budget,” Petty said. “It seems that’s all we are paying for now is gas.”

A recent Consumer Reports study concluded that fuel efficiency in a late-model Toyota sedan decreased from 40 miles per gallon to 35 miles per gallon when increasing speed from 55 to 65 mph.

Speeding up to 75 mph cost the car another five miles per gallon.

One of the reasons is that aerodynamic drag increases the faster you drive and it takes more fuel to power the vehicle through the wind, according to the Consumer Reports website.

2. Use cruise control

Petty also said he uses his cruise control when he is on the freeway to cut back on fluctuation of the gas pedal.

This actually helps to conserve gas, according to Consumer Reports.

Maintaining a steady speed and smooth acceleration can increase gas mileage by up to three miles per gallon, Consumer Reports’ website states.

GasBuddy.com reports that anticipating traffic and applying slow steady acceleration and braking can increase fuel economy by as much as 20 percent.

3. Keep tires properly inflated

GasBuddy.com recommends keeping tire air pressure at the level recommended by your vehicle manufacturer.

A single tire under-inflated by 2 psi increases fuel consumption by 1 percent, according to the GasBuddy website.

4. Avoid idling

Consumer Reports says that cars with larger engines typically waste more gas idling than those with small engines. But either way it is a waste, since when your car is idling it is getting zero miles per gallon.

A recent Consumer Reports study on a full-sized luxury sedan with a V-8 engine burned through 1/8 of a tank of gas while it sat “warming up” for 10 minutes.

GasBuddy.com says that restarting the car uses less fuel than letting it idle for one minute.

5. Think before you fill up

Jan Lambert lives on the border of Roseville and Citrus Heights and says that she is very particular about what time of day she buys gas.

“I don’t buy during the hot part of the day,” she said. “I buy it either early in the morning or late at night, because gas expands in the heat and you don’t get as much gas for your money.”

Consumer Reports states, however, that any extra gas obtained through this method might be negligible since the temperature of the gasoline coming out of the nozzle actually changes very little during a 24-hour stretch.

Toby Lewis can be reached at tobyl@goldcountrymedia.com. Follow him on Twitter @TobyLewis_RsvPT.