Save on Gas this Summer

We all want to save on gas. Whether you're an environmentalist or just someone who has a minor heart attack when you see the prices at the pump, chances are you're thinking about how to save gas this summer. Fortunately, there are actually some very easy ways to do so.

The obvious one is to drive less -- use public transit, carpool, walk, and bike. But I know for many of you this is impractical, and you're looking for how to save on gas without actually giving up your car. For those of you, read on!

How to save money on gas this summer

Use these tips to save money on gas during warm weather.

1. Keep your tires inflated and balanced.

When your tires are aligned properly and inflated equally, your car runs more smoothly. Constant adjustments use more gas.

2. Avoid the brake.

Obviously you'll need to stop sometimes. But your car uses far less gas driving than stopping and starting. Try not to get stuck stomping alternately on the brake and gas pedal in traffic.

3. Reduce your speed.

Lower speeds use less gas. Going just a few miles per hour slower can save money on gas -- not to mention speeding tickets.

4. Keep your oil changed and your engine tuned.

Your car needs to be running at its most efficient. If you're short on cash, it can be hard to justify tune ups when nothing is wrong with your car. In the long run, though, you'll not only save on gas, you'll save by avoiding those big problems that cost a fortune.

5. Fill your tank completely, and don't top up.

Filling $10 here and there is not how to save money on gas. You'll waste time and energy, and it can have a negative effect on your fuel tank. Just fill up when you hit about a quarter tank and leave it at that.

6. Don't leave the engine idling.

This is a must-know for both financial and environmental reasons. There is absolutely no reason to leave your car running with no one in it. Park in the shade. Your AC won't take that long to kick in.

7. Speaking of AC...

Turn off the air conditioning. Hey, you wanted to know how to save on gas... this saves a bundle. If you're like me and can't handle the heat, try rolling down the windows. If that's too hot, alternate turning the AC on and off and use it only as needed.

8. Keep things light.

If you carry a lot of bulk in your car (e.g., a full trunk), your car requires more power to accelerate. You can also help save on gas by accelerating more slowly. Trust me, no one thinks you're that cool for ripping away from the stoplight anyway.

Follow these tips and you can save on gas not only this summer, but all year long.

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