Simple Tips and Tricks that Can Save 25% at the Pump.

by SMD 

Now that gas is over $3 a gallon again, here are some simple but very effective tips that can realistically save you 15%, 20%, or even 25% in gas costs. 

First, you can save up to  20% at the pump with these fuel efficiency improvement tips:
1. Be aware that the faster you drive, the more wind resistance, and the worse your fuel economy.
2. Smoother, more patient driving, with less rapid acceleration and less avoidable breaking.
3. Using overdrive unless you are on very hilly terrain.
4. Use cruise control, which maintains a steady speed and reduces acceleration and the need for breaking UNLESS you are on hilly terrain (where it accelerates more harshly than you would).
5. Shift to higher gears sooner, keeping the RPMs lower.
Accelerate before you reach a hill rather than while going up it.                        
6. Keep farther back from the car in front of you. It’s not only safer, but also reduces the break/accelerate cycle.
7. Avoid idling where possible. For newer cars, cold morning warm-ups usually need no more than 1 minute.
8. Consolidate errands and short trips. A warmed up engine can get better fuel efficiency, and consolidation should result in fewer city miles driving.
9. Keep your engine well tuned. A poorly tuned engine can decrease MPG by 10% to even 20%.
10. Keep your car clean. A smooth surface actually improves aerodynamics. Particularly for highway driving. Vinyl tips and even sunroofs can disrupt aerodynamics as well.
11. Keep your car and its trunk as empty and light as practical.  Each 100 pounds of extra weight can result in a one to three percent loss of fuel economy.  This adds up substantially over time. 
12. Washing off heavy ice build up also lightens the load.
13. Keep your tires inflated to the recommended levels for your car.  Under-inflated tires can decrease fuel economy by more than 5%. Over-inflated tires can burst, which tends to be a significant downer for fuel efficiency.
14. Change your oil as recommended. Dirty, old oil may cause more friction and resistance.
15. In the city, use rolled down windows instead of air conditioning as much as possible. Try keeping air conditioning on low, and switching from A/C to just the fan in 5-10 minute increments.
16. For highway driving, use the lowest comfortable A/C instead of rolled down windows. Even partially open windows interfere with aerodynamics and reduce performance.
17. When possible, plan your driving to avoid the busiest, slowest times of the day.
18. Remove snow tires as soon as it’s safe to, as their softer, deeper tread reduce fuel efficiency.

Next, take the time to find the best cash back gas cards.                             
Some gas credit  cards pay two, three, even up to 5% cash back.  The Discover Platinum Gas card is one of the more popular ones.  Another one that gives 5% is the Citi® Dividend Platinum Card. It gives 5% cash back at all gas stations, drugstores and supermarkets. has a nice summary of gas cash back credit card options.
If you do use credit cards to buy gas, don’t pay even more for gas by letting interest charges build up.

Check the current cheapest gas station in your area.
Two popular sites for checking local gas prices are  and

Drive a more fuel efficient car.

Obvious, but still true. And with roomy and powerful hybrids like the SUV Ford Escape, you no longer have to sacrifice comfort or power for fuel efficiency.

Walk, roller blade, ride a bike, ski, take a scooter or take a bus.

Applying most of these tips can easily save you 15-25 percent in fuel costs. Not bad for just being a little smarter, smoother, safer and savvy.
Page Topic: tips to save up to 25% at the pump.
For other information about fuel economy, one excellent resource is the government website

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2 Responses to “Simple Tips and Tricks that Can Save 25% at the Pump.”

  1. Carnival of Personal Finance #128 - Investment Truth Edition - Stock Trading To Go on November 26th, 2007 12:17 pm

    [...] from Smart Money Daily presents Simple Tips and Tricks that Can Save 25% at the Pump, and says, “Now that gas is over $3 a gallon again, here are some simple but very effective [...]

  2. Mrs. Micah on November 26th, 2007 4:09 pm

    Lots of good points!

    A comment on number 1: There’s a certain speed at which a car is most fuel-efficient (including wind)…so faster isn’t always worse if faster happens to be that speed. But you’re right that 80 mph is less fuel efficient than, say, 65.

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