If it's not one thing, it's another. Currently, it's gas prices going the wrong direction - up!

 

In the past year, the price of a gallon of gas has gone steadily up. Right now in Maine, it's hovering around $3.50 a gallon! This time last year, the average gas price was around $2.16. That's a big leap and this time of year it hurts as we are paying for heat, and of course the holidays. Are you traveling for Thanksgiving? A lot of us aren't just because of gas prices!

Are you looking for ways that could let you go a little further before stopping to fill up? VIP Tires & Service has some suggestions on how you can change some driving habits to get better fuel efficiency. Here are 5 ways to boost your fuel efficiency.

Change the way you drive!

I know, I know...easier said than done. But you'll be happy you did! You just have to be a tad more conservative with your driving. Try to time your stop and starts at stoplights to conserve momentum. Don't do quick starts and quick stops (known as 'jackrabbiting'). That can lower fuel economy by 15-30% at highway speeds and 10-40% percent in stop-and-go traffic.

Use cruise control.

Photo by Dan Gold on Unsplash

I love cruise control. Maine is a perfect place for that! I also have a nice feature in my car of economy, regular and sport. I always put it in economy and cruise control. Plus, it's also super fun to watch how many people don't use it as they pass you then you pass them, and so on and so forth. Also, getting EZ-Pass will help save on gas as you don't have to stop and can keep on moving along!

Follow speed limits.

Photo by Lucas van Oort on Unsplash

We are all busy and trust me, sometimes I treat speed limits more like suggestions. But one way to immediately start to see increased fuel efficiency is to follow speed limits and drive a little slower but more steadily. Your fuel economy peaks at 50 mph and drops off at faster speeds. Driving a little slower can add up, in the long run, saving you 7-14% in fuel efficiency.

Check tire pressure.

BHFoton

This is an easy trick and one often overlooked. Make sure that your tires are adequately inflated. This is especially true in colder weather, as freezing temperatures cause tire pressure to drop about one pound per square inch for every 10° F drop in air temperature. You really should check your tires at least once a month and even more when the temperatures start to drop. Here's how to check your tire pressure and where to find the proper PSI for your vehicle. And just in case you think more air would be a good thing - it's not! Don't overinflate your tires because you'll feel it in a harsher ride, you'll wear out your tires faster, and increase the likelihood of a blowout.

Cut the clutter.

Photo by Mick Haupt on Unsplash

Do you have a bag of bricks in your car? Getting rid of unnecessary heavy items from your vehicle can help increase your fuel efficiency. Having an extra 100 lbs in your car can affect your vehicle’s fuel economy by up to 1%. This is much more helpful in small and economy cars than bigger trucks and SUVs. And do you really need rooftop storage racks and containers every day? Every time you reduce the aerodynamics of your car, you’ll be negatively affecting your fuel economy.

There are many other ways to increase your fuel efficiency, but, these are the easiest things you can do right now. Keep an eye on just how well your car does, because if you see a sudden drop in your fuel efficiency, you might want to take it to a trusted shop for service.

 

LOOK: See how much gasoline cost the year you started driving

To find out more about how has the price of gas changed throughout the years, Stacker ran the numbers on the cost of a gallon of gasoline for each of the last 84 years. Using data from the Bureau of Labor Statistics (released in April 2020), we analyzed the average price for a gallon of unleaded regular gasoline from 1976 to 2020 along with the Consumer Price Index (CPI) for unleaded regular gasoline from 1937 to 1976, including the absolute and inflation-adjusted prices for each year.

Read on to explore the cost of gas over time and rediscover just how much a gallon was when you first started driving.

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