By Rubina Ahmed-Haq
Busy moms spend a lot of time on the road driving their kids all around town from school, to birthday parties to soccer practice. Is this you? If so, you know how much gas these short trips burn. If you’re looking to save some money on your day-to-day driving here are some of my top tips to keep your fuel consumption low and save you money.
Keep tires properly inflated: Under inflated tires increase the contact area and friction of your tire to the road and burn more gas. You can improve gas consumption by up to 3.3% if you keep your tire pressure at optimal levels.
Switch your tires: Take off your winter tires in the summer. These tires burn more gas in the summer than all season tires. Plus using winter tires when its not snowing will decrease the life of the tire.
Clean the junk out of your trunk: Extra weight in your vehicle is burning more gas in your tank when you drive. Take the heavy items out of your car and leave them at home. If you have a van or SUV and never use the very back seats remove them to save even more money.
Plan your route before you go: This will avoid you getting lost and burning gas trying to find your destination.
Get a regular oil change and tune up: This will reduce your gas consumption by 20%.
Don’t drive during rush hour: Spending hours idling in traffic burns more gas.
Don’t speed: The faster you drive the more gas you burn. Aggressive driving will also increase your gas consumption. Avoid quick acceleration and hard braking. Cruise control will keep you at a constant speed, even on hills.
Reduce AC usage: Running the air conditioner burns up to 8% more fuel. Only use AC on the highways, roll down the windows during slower speeds. Also turn off your AC 10 minutes before you reach your destination, your car will still be cool when you get there.
Don’t modify your car: Adding after market parts such as a new intake or a fancy exhaust will burn more gas.
Turn off the car: It’s a myth that running your car while waiting for someone is better than turning it off and on. If you have to wait more than one minute turn off the car. An idling car burns 30% more gas.
Manual transmission is better: If you have a choice, buy a car with a manual transmission vs. automatic. When driven properly manual transmission burn less gas.
More about Rubina:
Rubina Ahmed-Haq is a social media savvy financial journalist with more than 10 years of experience. Her career spans three continents in TV, radio, print and online. She is passionate about economics, business and personal finance. Currently, Rubina is a regular business contributor on CBC Steven and Chris, a lifestyle show that airs across North America. She is the finance editor at CondoLife Magazine in Toronto; the publication provides monthly updates on what’s hot in the new condo market. As well, her print work appears regularly in The Toronto Star’s Moneyville.ca, OurkidsMedia.com and Masalamommas.ca.
Her own blog is AlwaysSaveMoney.ca.
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