Our current economic situation as Americans today is better than two years ago but when it comes to gas prices things are almost as worse (With average gas prices staying at around $4 per gallon in Southern California).  As thrifty consumers, it is important to know gas saving tips to help alleviate our situation with the uphill battle against gas prices.  Hopefully knowing these tips can help you save some major dollars by the end of the week with fewer trips to the gas station. 

                Gas saving tip # 1—check your tire pressure every two weeks.  You may not realize it but under inflated tires create extra drag for your car when running which also uses up more engine power (therefore eats up a lot of gas).  Keeping your tires properly inflated with the correct tire pressure can help your car riding smoothly while saving you gas and money at the same time (Trust me, I have done this before and I always wonder why my gas tank is always empty by the end of the week).  

                Gas saving tip #2 --- go to your trusted mechanic shop and have your wheels balance and properly aligned.  This may sound like its overkill if  your tires are all properly inflated but believe me when I say you’ll save yourself a whole lot of money from buying tires (and headaches) when your car has been properly wheel balanced and aligned.  For the longest time I could not understand why my steering wheel was shaking so violently when I drove my car over 75 mph and I’m almost in tears when I realize my gas is almost empty again by the end of the week.  Luckily, the salesman at Evans tire explained that my car needed to be properly aligned and all my wheels balanced.  Upon further investigation, the tire mechanics noticed that the reason my car’s steering wheel was shaking excessively was because of the bent bolts supporting the strut of the wheels.  Once they remove the bent bolts and the wheels balanced and aligned, no more steering wheel shakes (Thank goodness)!


              Gas saving tip #3---change your oil and oil filter regularly (Every 3,000 miles or three months whichever comes first).  I think everyone knows this tip except not everyone follows it.  Changing your oil keeps your engine free from engine debris and can sustain efficient engine run for a long time.   An efficient engine means it works less for the same amount of power ergo saving you gas. 

              Gas saving tip#4 --- change your air filter.  Yes, you heard me that soft, white, sponge- like material that’s hook up before your engine air-intake, you need to change it.   With most cars that are normally aspirated (meaning the air just comes in the gas engine while driving without the help of turbo chargers), the air filter is common and can easily be replaced.  If you do not know how to change it then ask your oil changers to change your air filter as well (for an extra fee) but it would be better if you changed the air filter yourself because there’s nothing to it really. 

             Gas saving tip#5 ---remove excess weights in your trunk area.  Think about it.  The heavier your car weighs the harder the engine has to work, therefore leaving you with less gas.  A word of caution: do not take out the spare tire, jack, car tools, safety kit, etc., or else you will be waiting a long time for AAA to come help you when you have car trouble. 

             Gas saving tip#6 ---cruise control is your friend.    The cruise control has been a life saver for me for both gas and receiving speeding tickets.   You really do not have to keep your foot on the pedal especially on long drive destination!  It makes you efficient as a driver and makes your car runs economically. 

            Gas saving tip#7 ---buy fuel injector cleaners.  If your fuel injectors are clogged up, guess what happens?  Yes, gas doesn’t get delivered in the engine therefore; more gas needs to be pumped into the engine to receive the same amount of power you need to drive.  So is buying fuel injectors a good thing?  That’s a definite yes.  Besides you only need to use it once every 2,500 miles and cost less than $5.  Why not use it? 

            Gas saving tip#8 ---fill up once you hit the quarter tank line.  My dad gave me this tip while we we’re filling up at our local gas station.  There are two reason why this is a good idea.  First, you don’t end up walking to the nearest gas station if you run out of gas (This was obvious to me).  The second reason was not so obvious.  According to my dad, who is a weekend mechanic, told me that some older model cars will not run once you drain it out of gas and there is a special way to make it run again.  Unless you want to visit your dealership mechanic, my suggestion is to fill it up once you’re on or below the quarter tank line. 

            Gas saving tip #9 --- get to know the API and SAE index.  Ever wonder what those silly marking at the back of your motor oil mean? And what’s the difference between 10w-40 and SAE 40?  The w stands for winter and the motor oil will be less viscous (gooey) in colder temperatures for 10w-40 grade oils.  You need your motor oil to be fluid and can withstand extreme temperatures both hot and cold.  Knowing your motor oil markings and labels is important.   

             Gas saving tip #10---If all else fail—buy a hybrid car!  I am amazed with the new cars coming out these days.  A car that runs on both gas and electric definitely has its advantages because when the gas prices are high (like today’s prices) you can switch to electric mode (just be prepared for your electricity bill though).  Even some cars just run on electricity itself like Nissan’s Leaf. 

                 Hopefully with these gas saving tips in mind,  it will make your car running at its best while saving you some much needed greens in this economy.  If you have some gas saving tips please leave a comment.  I’m sure everyone will appreciate it!