Ways to Use Less Gas (That Go Beyond the Obvious)

Tired of hearing the same gas-saving tips over and over again? Here are some new ways to use less gas:

Skip the Drive-Thru

Gas Pump. Photo © Erin Huffstetler
Sit in a drive-thru line, and you'll burn gas. Park and walk into the store, and you'll burn calories. Looks like parking wins.

Park Further Away

Circling is for sharks, vultures and people who don't mind wasting gas. Give up the quest for the perfect parking spot, and settle for one at the back of the lot. You may have to walk a bit further to get to the store, but when did that become a bad thing?

Park in the Shade

A cooler car means less need for air conditioning and less gas evaporating from your tank. To save even more, invest in a shade for your windshield and tinting for the rest of your windows.

Hang Up and Drive

Talking on your cell phone while you drive makes you less aware of how you're driving. You could be breaking every gas-saving rule out there and not even realize it.

Tighten that Gas Cap

A loose gas cap makes it easy for gas to evaporate from your car. Protect those precious gallons by turning your cap until you hear it click three times.

Shop at Home

Free shipping deals are easy to come by these days. Find what you need online, and let your car spend more time in the driveway.

Check the Traffic Reports

The less time you spend sitting in traffic, the less gas you'll need to get to your destination, so take a minute to check the traffic report before you head out.

Ditch the Attitude

Check your bad day at the car door. When you're under the influence of a bad mood you're likely drive faster and brake harder than you normally would.

Travel at Off-Peak Times

Idling in traffic is a big waste of gas and time. Bow out of the bumper-to-bumper madness by doing most of your running around before or after rush hour.

Streamline Your Vehicle

Engineers work hard to make cars as aerodynamic as possible, and then we do our best to undo their efforts. Bike racks, car top carriers, flags, giant wreaths – there's no end to the things we'll stick on our vehicles. Unfortunately, all those add-ons add to our wind resistance and our gas consumption. Keep your mods to a minimum, and you could save big.

Ask for Directions

Getting lost stinks. Wasting gas on a bunch of wrong turns stinks even more. If you don't have a GPS to get you on track, stop and ask for directions as soon as you can.

Don't Tailgate

When you travel too close to the vehicle in front of you, you have to brake a lot more frequently, and that means more frequent trips to the gas station.

Don't Lane Hop

Getting ahead of other cars may be what NASCAR is all about, but it's not what regular driving is all about. Give all the lane changes a rest, and you won't need to apply your foot to the accelerator and brake nearly as often.

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