Record-high gas prices are putting a dent in the wallets of drivers nationwide as inflation and the disruption in the world’s fuel supply due to the Russian invasion of Ukraine send prices soaring.
With gas prices increasing and hitting new record highs nearly every day, coming in at $4.35 per gallon on average in Massachusetts on Sunday, most drivers are looking for ways to save. Here are a few tips to help you make the most out of your gas mileage.
Keep it steady. Studies show that rapid accelerations and hard braking consume up to 40% more gas in stop-and-go traffic, and up to 30% more on the highway. The best strategy is to find a pace in sync with the lights so you can keep rolling instead of braking, , AAA says.
Don’t speed. Driving faster than 55 or 65 mph on the highway burns through gas faster, according to England’s Energy Saving Trust. Even then, 55 is significantly better for gas mileage than 65, according to Consumer Reports’ tests,
Rewards. Start shopping at a grocery store has a fuel rewards program. Shaw’s and Stop and Shop both offer their rewards customers 10 cents off per gallon of gas for every $100 in groceries they buy.
GetUpside, a gas pricing app, gives drivers money back every time they fuel up. Rewards can then be turned into gift cards at a number of businesses — including Amazon, Paypal and Walmart.
Don’t put off repairs. Stay on top of regular maintenance if you want to get the most bang for your buck out of every gallon of gas, experts recommended.
According to the EPA, “fixing a car that is noticeably out of tune or has failed an emissions test can improve its gas mileage by an average of 4%, though results vary based on the kind of repair and how well it is done.”
“Fixing a serious maintenance problem, such as a faulty oxygen sensor, can improve your mileage by as much as 40%,” the EPA cautioned.
Grades matter. Drivers can save money by using a lower grade than your manufacturer recommends, according to Edmunds.com.
Check the octane sticker on the inside of your gas tank door. Using regular gas when premium is required can cause the engine to knock, impair its performance and possibly lead to long-term damage.
No idling. Allowing the care engine to idle can burn up to a quarter of a gallon per hour. That’s more than 2 cents every minute at current prices.
“To save fuel,” AAA advises, “start the engine and then drive the car normally to warm the engine to operating temperature more rapidly.”