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10 Tips to Get the Most out of a Tank of Gas

Gas prices continue to rise and the need for fuel-efficient vehicles has never been more needed.

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The need to get the most mileage possible out of a gallon of gas is becoming increasingly important as gas prices rise.

Research Brand (like Cadillac) Update 8/21/2022, by Jeff S. Bartlett Following a five-cent drop from its previous average of $3.95, the national average price of a gallon of regular gasoline is now $3.90.

Russia’s aggression against Ukraine earlier this year shook the petroleum market, and the result was higher gas prices at the pump in the United States. AAA reports that the national average price of regular fuel is $3.95 per gallon, which is 76 cents more than this time last year despite recent price drops. On June 14, 2022, the price reached a high of $5.02.

Drivers should prepare for the fact that gas prices are likely to rise in the foreseeable future, which will raise the cost of daily commutes and long road trips. This is important information to keep in mind if you’re in the market for a new car, as fuel efficiency should be a top consideration.

There has never been a better time to dial in your driving tactics to get the most out of every gallon of gas and relieve some of the financial strain on your household.

Professionals from Consumer Reports compiled this list of tried-and-true suggestions for cutting fuel costs.

Advice on Saving Gas

First, don’t go any lower than halfway. Keep at least half a tank of gas during the winter and other times when supplies may be low, such as when a major storm is on the way or when there is a shortage of gasoline delivery drivers to meet travel demands. This is sound advice for any time of year, but especially during the holiday season, when traffic is likely to be heavy. Keeping a large supply of gas in your tank can reduce anxiety and give you more options for when and where to refuel.

You should look it up online. Find cheap gas in your area or while on the road with the help of apps and websites like GasBuddy. Warehouse stores and some major travel centers, as well as gas stations outside of major highways and away from city centers, typically have better prices.

Reduce your travel time. You can help alleviate the gas shortage in some small way by delaying the running of errands and other activities that require the use of gas.

Keep to the posted speed limit. It’s important to drive safely and at the posted speeds. How you typically drive can have a major impact on how much gas you use.

According to the results of a recent CR experiment: We compared the Nissan Altima and Toyota RAV4’s fuel economy at constant 55, 65, and 75 miles per hour. We measured an increase in fuel economy of 6 mpg in the Altima and 8 mpg in the RAV4 when we decreased our speed from 65 to 55 mph. Cruising at 75 mph instead of 65 mph costed nearly 7 mpg in the Altima and 6 mpg in the RAV4. Fuel consumption increases dramatically at higher speeds. Consider it this way: going from 55 to 75 miles per hour is like upgrading from a sedan to a sport utility vehicle. There are consequences to speeding beyond fuel economy, too.

Spread out your speed and you should be fine. When possible, try to avoid sudden changes in speed. We found that the gas mileage of an older Toyota Camry dropped by between 2 and 3 mpg when subjected to frequent acceleration and braking. When you get going, keep going. The greater the acceleration, the greater the fuel consumption. Not only is it inefficient, but it also wastes the fuel you used to get going in the first place. Keep your cool and anticipate the flow of traffic. The lifespan of the engine, transmission, brakes, and tires can all be increased by practicing smooth acceleration, cornering, and braking.

Pay close attention to aerodynamics, number six. Whenever they are not needed, roof racks should be taken down. At freeway speeds, aerodynamic drag can consume more than half of a vehicle’s engine power. Don’t make it worse by putting extra weight up there. We put a Nissan Altima, a Toyota RAV4, and a roof rack, a tail-hitch rack, and a roof box through their paces on the highway in terms of fuel economy. The biggest change was caused by transporting two mountain bikes on the roof. The Altima’s mileage dropped from 46 to 33 miles per gallon. The RAV4’s fuel economy declined by 7 mpg, from 39 mpg to 32 mpg.

Even when the roof rack is empty, fuel economy decreases. The Altima saw a 5 mpg decrease and the Toyota saw a 2 mpg decrease. When towing two bicycles on a hitch-mounted rack, fuel economy dropped by 12 mpg in the Nissan but by only 5 mpg in the RAV4. The bikes’ protrusion from the sedan’s sides increased wind resistance. The RAV4’s wider, boxier bodywork hid them from view.

The Altima’s gas mileage dropped by 9 mpg and the RAV4’s by 5 mpg due to the roof box.

If you compare the RAV4 and the Altima, the aerodynamic drag has less of an effect on the RAV4 because of its more boxy shape.

Seven, invest in premium gas. Top Tier gas, which is held to a higher standard thanks to the voluntary participation of many gas station brands like Chevron, Costco, Exxon, Mobil, and Shell, is what we typically advise using. Be wary, as many well-known brands do not supply Top Tier fuel. When you can, fill up your tank with premium fuel, but be willing to make concessions if you’re in a pinch or on the road. If and when good-quality gas becomes more widely available, the detergents in Top Tier gas can clean any engine deposits that may have accumulated.

Eighth, do not pay the added price. Premium gas is more expensive, so unless it’s absolutely necessary, you should avoid buying it. The door to the gas tank has a label stating this. The word “recommended” on a car’s options sheet typically indicates that the feature is not mandatory. If you need to fill up your car and only have access to midgrade or premium fuel, don’t worry; it will be just fine.

Look at the tire pressure as number nine. Verify the tire pressure. Monthly pressure loss in tires averages 1 psi. Tire performance, tire life, and gas mileage can all suffer if you don’t inflate your tires to the pressure specified on the doorjamb sticker.

Tenthly, turn off the air conditioning. Fuel is used to power air conditioners. If you can get by in mild weather without it, even with the windows open, you’ll save money. However, when the temperature outside rises, turning on the air conditioner to cool the car and reduce the humidity is a smart move for your comfort and alertness on the road.