Tips to Save on Gas This Summer

tips to save on gasEveryone loves summer months with the beautiful weather, the vacation time for students, and the opportunity to hit the open road. Unfortunately, gas stations also love summer, as the price of gasoline goes up along with the demand.

Have no fear, though! We have put together a few tips to help you get through the summer

Drive Calmly

Road rage is a serious problem, but did you know it can also cause fuel inefficiency? Rapid acceleration and sudden braking is about the worst thing you can do to save gas. In fact, the US Department of Energy estimates that driving sensibly can boost fuel efficiency from anywhere between 5 and 33%! That translates to some serious savings, and might also help reduce your blood pressure.

Lighten the Load

While not offering nearly as much benefit as calmer driving, taking out unneeded items can actually improve your fuel efficiency. It is estimated that removing 100 pounds of items can improve your fuel efficiency by up to 2%. While that might not seem like much, over the course of summer the savings add up!

Speed Limit and Cruise Control

Texas has the benefits of wide open spaces and flat terrain (mostly—here’s looking at you Hill Country!). Because of this, cars can benefit from cruise control. Furthermore, speeding can actually cause you to drain your gas tank faster! Driving over 50 miles per hour reduces fuel efficiency. Obviously, you shouldn’t drive 50 on a highway, but in residential and city driving, keeping your speed low may actually keep your costs low too!

How do you save money at the pump? Are you driving a hybrid? If not, check out the new hybrid turbocharged Jetta!

DIY Car Maintenance

Do It Yourself Car Maintenance:

DIY Car Maintenance

Some aspects of car maintenance are relatively easy, take little or no time and incur minimal cost, yet many drivers pay extra money out of pocket to an expensive repair shop or a local mechanic to take care of these matters. Here is a list of quick and easy car maintenance solutions that you can do yourself and keep your hard-earned cash where it belongs.

Air Filters

A good rule of thumb is to change the air filter every 12 months or 12,000 miles – whichever comes first. Replacing the air filter takes about five minutes and costs $10-$15.

The filter is housed in a black rectangular box with metal clips on the sides. Check your owner’s manual if you don’t see it when you open the hood.

Pull out the old filter and make a note of which direction it was facing. Replace it with your new filter, close the lid, snap the clips back into place, and voila!

Windshield Wipers

Wipers follow the same general formula as filters: locate, remove, replace once you notice smearing or streaking. Wipers, however, differ more from car to car, so have your owner’s manual ready for easy reference.

Lift the wipers as though you were cleaning them and remove the old blades. Usually there’s a screw or bolt holding them in place. After that, repeat the process in reverse, replacing the bolt afterward.

Spark Plugs

This repair is a bit more in-depth, but with a bit of practice it can become second nature. The owner’s manual is required for this repair because the plugs need to be installed in a specific order, which can vary from vehicle to vehicle. Usually spark plugs need to be replaced every 30,000 miles.

The plugs are attached to thick, rubbery wires protruding out of the engine block. There are four, six, or eight spark plugs, depending on how many cylinders are in your engine.

Remove the wire to the first plug ONLY. Don’t remove all of the wires at once because the plugs need to be in a certain order. Use a spark plug extension on a ratchet to remove the plug. Install the new one by first screwing it in by hand, then using a wrench to tighten it until snug. Reattach the wire and repeat the process for the other plugs.

These are three of the most common routine car maintenance items someone can face, and now you no longer have to spend time and energy bringing your car to an expensive mechanic. Car maintenance, like everything else, requires practice, but with enough of it you can easily fix any problem that arises.

If you have any questions about car maintenance or the signs that you need to repair something in your vehicle, head over to our Facebook or Twitter pages to connect with other drivers.