How to save at the pump
With gas prices setting new records every week, everyone wants to squeeze a few more kilometres out of a tank at the lowest price.
20 ways to save at the pump
With gas prices setting new records every week, everyone wants to squeeze a few more kilometres out of a tank at the lowest price. Here are some tips to help you save on gas and take some of the sting out of your next visit to the pump.
Gas savings tip 1
Fill up on gas on weekdays. Prices tend to rise on the weekend, so opt for Tuesday afternoons or Wednesday mornings.
Gas savings tip 2
Track your mileage. If your distance per litre starts to go down, have your car checked. Each time you fill up, note the odometer reading and number of litres of gas purchased, then divide the first number by the second.
Gas savings tip 3
Get a loyalty card. Shell, Ultramar, Irving, Esso and others have programs that allow you to save 5% to 10% on your gas!
Gas savings tip 4
Avoid running on empty. If your gas tank is too low, your vehicle will use more fuel as it is running less efficiently. Fill up your tank when it nears the halfway mark.
Gas savings tip 5
Travel light. Don’t carry around items you don’t need. Every 100 pounds of extra weight reduces your fuel efficiency by 1% to 2%. Place heavy items in the trunk instead of on the roof to improve aerodynamics and, therefore, gas savings.
Gas savings tip 6
Compare prices. Opt for nearby gas stations that offer the best prices.
Gas savings tip 7
Check online resources. For example, gasbuddy.com shows the lowest gas price in your area.
Gas savings tip 8
Avoid idling. Shut off the engine if you have to stop your car for more than one minute.
Gas savings tip 9
Check your tire pressure. Under-inflated tires increase fuel consumption. When it’s time to replace them, consider buying low rolling resistance tires.
Gas savings tip 10
Slow down. Obeying the speed limit promotes gas savings and prevents deadly accidents. Each 8 km/h over 100 km/h is like paying an additional five to six cents a litre. Use cruise control to maintain your speed, if necessary.
Gas savings tip 11
Avoid gas stations near highways. Gas prices are often higher there.
Gas savings tip 12
Don’t upgrade. Unless your owner’s manual suggests using a higher grade, buy regular gasoline. Costlier high-octane gas will not necessarily improve the performance of your vehicle.
Gas savings tip 13
Avoid topping off your gas tank. When you do this, the pump doesn’t really activate, resulting in short bursts, and you could end up paying for more than the actual amount.
Gas savings tip 14
Maintain your vehicle. Get oil changes and replace spark plugs and air filters on schedule. Go to a repair shop as soon as your check engine light comes on. If a faulty oxygen sensor is the cause, it will increase your fuel consumption significantly.
Gas savings tip 15
Sufficiently tighten the gas cap. A tightened gas cap will prevent gas from evaporating. If you’ve lost your gas cap, buy a new one as soon as possible.
Gas savings tip 16
Combine trips. Starting a cold engine several times to cover the same distance can double your fuel consumption. Carpool whenever possible.
Gas savings tip 17
Choose your vehicle wisely. If you have more than one car, favour the one that is more fuel efficient.
Gas savings tip 18
Plan your route. Opt for flat roads with the fewest stops. Try to avoid traffic jams and stop-and-go traffic.
Gas savings tip 19
Avoid abrupt stops and starts. Sudden movements can cause the price of a litre to jump by 10 to 15 cents.
Gas savings tip 20
Limit air conditioning. To save gas at lower speeds, open the windows or sunroof. At higher speeds, use the fan instead, as open windows will slow down your vehicle.
Other good fuel-saving ideas
Buy gas from busy stations. Pumps that are refilled regularly are more likely to have fresh gas, which is more efficient.
Made in the shade. In the summer, park in the shade to minimize gas evaporation and keep your car’s interior cool.
Fill up your gas tank at night. Believe it or not, pumps deliver more gas when temperatures are lower.
Don’t skip tune-ups. A well-maintained vehicle can improve fuel consumption by 4.1%!
Check your oil level. Always choose the recommended grade of gas and look for labels that mention energy savings to improve your mileage by 1% to 2%.