By Ted Ljungqvist
How to lower your gasoline cost by 50%, thru a step-by-step method, starting today by spending only 1 hour a month.
As gasoline prices continue to climb higher and higher, many people are beginning to look for ways to slash their fuel bills. While there have been many different ideas put forth; some are not suitable for all consumers due to the fact that they must commute to work; are financially unable to trade in their existing vehicle for a smaller automobile or various other reasons.
Therefore, it is important to understand that there are; in fact, ways that you can actually lower your gasoline costs without taking any drastic measures.
You can quite easily begin to lower the amount of money that you must spend on gasoline by learning how to maneuver your car in such a way that it actually uses less gasoline.
Throughout this book, I will discuss many different ways that you can begin to see real differences in the amount of money you spend on gasoline by maneuvering your car differently.
Before we begin to delve into the many different ways that you can begin to improve your vehicle’s fuel economy, it’s important to first discuss understand the basics of fuel economy.
This won’t be a long, complicated discourse on the detailed nature of vehicle engines, but it will give you a simple and clear way to understand how your vehicle achieves fuel economy and most importantly; how you can accurately calculate your vehicle’s fuel economy.
When working on increasing your vehicle’s fuel economy, it’s important to keep a running log of your car’s mileage per gallon so that you will immediately notice if there have been any changes. These changes can signal the fact that you car may need maintenance, which as we will discuss later on; can make a great difference in your fuel economy.
Most vehicles, at least the newer models, come with a handy little sticker when you make your purchase that will tell you what kind of fuel economy you can expect to receive on that vehicle. While this can be a handy gauge, it won’t tell you exactly what kind of fuel economy your vehicle is receiving five years down the road; even six months down the road. Once getting into the habit of recording their fuel economy based on actual facts, many people are often surprised at the difference between the fuel economy they’re supposed to get with their chosen vehicle and the fuel economy they’re actually receiving.
Fortunately, with a little knowledge; you can change that. It’s a good idea to keep a notebook or journal of some type in your vehicle, along with a pen or pencil, so that you can quickly jot down information about your fuel economy when you fill up your vehicle. Waiting until you get back to the office or home, and writing it down haphazardly on scraps of paper, doesn’t work well.
Get in the habit of doing it when you fill up and keeping the information in the same place and you’ll find that it’s much easier and quicker to handle.
Take a look at the below legend to understand how to quickly and easily calculate and record your fuel mileage.
Date: This is the date you buy gas. This will help you budget for gas by showing you how often you fill up the tank.
Odometer: In this column, record the car's odometer reading when you purchase gas.
Trip: One way to easily and quickly determine your fuel economy is to reset your trip meter to 0 each time you fill up your tank. This can help you to determine how far you travel between tanks of gas.
Gallons: This is the amount of gas required to refill the tank. When filling up your gas tank, always be sure to lock the gas pump handle and then allow it to shut off automatically. Never push it further by topping off the tank. This will help to ensure that you have a full tank of gas each time
MPG: This is the miles per gallon you get for a tank of gas.
Notes: This column is handy for making any notes about factors that might affect your vehicle’s fuel economy. If you needed to drive with snow tires this week; for example or if you took a trip onto particularly rough terrain. Make a note of anything that would explain any significant deviations in your vehicle’s fuel economy.
Here’s a quick way to determine your gas mileage. Simply divide the number of miles you have traveled since your last fill-up by the number of gallons recently purchased. In order to keep track of how many miles you’ve traveled since your last fill up, you may use one of two methods.
Either reset the trip meter to 0 after each fill-up or make a note of the odometer readings and calculate it that way. When recording your vehicle’s fuel economy, it’s important to begin with a full tank of gas. Go about your normal driving (keeping in mind the tips you’ll read later on!) and then fill up again when the tank is down to ¼ full. When it hits this mark, it’s time to find out exactly what kind of mileage you’re actually getting.
To calculate your gas mileage, divide the number of miles you drove by the gallons of gas used. Most often, you’re not going to come up with nice, even round numbers. You’ll normally have fractions; such as 265.3 miles and 14 gallons of gas.
For this reason, it’s a good idea to also keep a small calculator with your journal (unless you’re just really good at long division) so that you can make accurate calculations. Always make sure that you calculate correctly and don’t estimate or guesstimate.
Keep in mind that you can’t expect to receive the same gas mileage each and every time. Sometimes there will be factors you cannot control that will cause your gas mileage to fluctuate; but the point is that you should begin to see a definable pattern.
After you’ve been calculating your fuel economy for awhile, you’ll begin to see that pattern. The important thing here to understand is your average fuel economy. This, too, is very easy to calculate. Let’s suppose that your calculations for the past few weeks look something like this: 21, 19, 23, 27, 17, 26.
To find out the average fuel economy of your vehicle, simply total these numbers and then divide by the number of figures you are averaging. So, in this example; our average fuel economy would be 133 divided by 6; which would be 22.16 mpg.