Gas prices continued to climb over the weekend, topping $4 per gallon in states like California, with no signs of slowing down anytime soon. Average prices in several western U.S. cities are already above $4 per gallon, led by San Francisco at $4.13. Chicago was close behind at $4.11 a gallon, according to a recent survey. No matter what make or model your car is, chances are it’s hurting your wallet to fill up your tank. If you are looking for some free ways to save gasoline in your car, then check out these suggestions from the experts:
Fill up on off-days. The day of the week you choose to fill up on will undoubtedly impact the price you pay, Toews said. Although it is hard to pinpoint an exact day on which prices are lower, due to regional impacts on pricing, generally filling up on Wednesdays or Thursdays helps reduce pricing. “Prices are usually raised right before the weekend,” he said. “People typically fill up on the weekend to get away, especially for the summer.”
Make sure gas cap clicks. After you fill up, make sure the gas cap clicks 3 times. Did you know 147 million gallons of fuel vaporize from tanks in the U.S. each year.
Pump gas in the morning. Experts suggest pumping your gas in the morning, when it’s colder outside, the ground is colder, which means the gas is denser, so you’re getting more gas. As the day goes on and things start to warm up, the gas will actually expand, so a gallon won’t really be a true gallon later in the day
Try a wholesale club. Stores like BJ’s and Costco are just good for buying your favorite products in bulk. They are now luring customers in with cheaper rates on gasoline, Toews said. “They are selling gas cheaply to get people to come inside and buy other items like clothes or food,” he said.
Get extra junk out of your trunk. Removing excess weight from the rear of your car will help it to use less power and gas when out on the road. DeHaan said this added weight can drag down vehicles and make them work harder to get where they are going.
Slow down on the roads. For every five miles per hour you go over 60 miles per hour, that’s like adding 24 cents a gallon.
Use cruise control often. This feature is easily turned on and off in many new models, DeHaan said, and should be utilized whenever possible. “Cruise control effectively controls the vehicle so it only uses the power it needs,” he said. “When it doesn’t need power, it doesn’t use gas, so your car is always operating at a good pace.”
Check your tire pressure once a month. Properly inflated tires can increase your gas mileage about 3.3 percent.