Commuters, you spend endless hours in your car. Stuck in a traffic jam on your way to work in the morning. The local drive-thru to pick up that coffee you can’t make it through the morning without.  Then stuck in rush hour, yet again, on your way home from work. And don’t get me started on the delays if there’s an accident that happens to take up at least one lane of the highway .

There’s that saying that time is money, but in the case of cars, money is time. When you spend as much time in your car as the average commuter (about 30 minutes – 1 hour, each way, to work in low traffic situations) that means you can spend at least 5-10 hours a week, just getting to work. That also translates to $$: maintenance and insurance are requirements. And though filling up with gas is also the nature of the beast, there are ways to save at the pump.

Here are a few things you can do today to get better gas mileage right away. In real estate they say location, location, location. In auto repair, we say maintenance, maintenance, maintenance!


Change Your Filters
A well maintained car will operate with greater efficiency. You will have better performance, be safer on the road, and get the best fuel consumption. Something as small as a clogged fuel filter can restrict the flow of gas, which makes your car work harder, which wastes gas, which wastes money! The same is true for your air filter. If your car cannot breathe fresh air, it struggles. Struggling uses more energy from the engine. More energy = wasted gas

Use the Right Octane
If your car require 87 octane, there is no benefit to using a higher octane. It’s not like any of us are dying to put 89 or 91 in with these prices, but remember you get the best performance from your engine when you use what the manufacturer recommends.

Check Your Tire Pressure
It’s FREE! Having your tires filled to the correct tire pressure will yield you about 4 percent on fuel economy. Under inflated tires are like a person not picking up his feet when he is walking in the mud! You need more energy to move, and more energy = more gas! Which means more money!

Constantly Passing People
This afternoon, I was in traffic on the expressway watching a driver next to me speed up to weave in and out of the cars. He ended up right next to me when traffic came to a slow/stop! Ha, I thought to myself, that guy is frustrated … and he wasted a ton of gas going nowhere!

Junk in the Trunk
Take the junk out of your trunk! Just like people, the heavier your car is, the more you have to lug around. Lose the weight and the car will have less to lug around. An extra 100 pounds can reduce your fuel economy by 1 to 2 percent.

Aggressive, Hard Driving
Hitting the accelerator pedal from a stoplight, braking hard, and speeding up to get to the next stop light? These are prime examples of wasted gas. Give yourself extra time to get to your destination and think “smooth and steady” as you drive. The DOT says that every 5 mph you drive over 65 mph is equal to a 7 percent decrease in fuel economy.

Organize Your Trip
Map out where you’re going and organize your errands so you’re not driving back and forth.

Don’t Idle
Sitting in an idling car is just bad. It’s against the law and it’s a huge money waster. When a car is idling, it’s using fuel, and if you are just sitting there, you are getting 0 MPG.

Have any ways you’ve saved on gas that I haven’t mentioned? Share them below in the comments!

Mechanically Yours,


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