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Fuel saver tips

11 Fuel Saver Tips That Anybody Can Benefit From

These Simple Fuel Saver Steps Can Save You Big Money In 2018.

Updated November 21, 2018

Fortunately, gas isn’t near as high as it was just a few short years ago.  However, it’s still enough that I manage to spend almost $400 a month on.  Finally, after adding up just how much I was spending on fuel every month, I realized that I needed to do some research to figure out some fuel saver tips to help sew the hole in my pocket a tad bit smaller.

Fuel saver tips

It wasn’t until I found these fuel saver tips that I was able to cut down on my fuel costs by 20%, bringing my total use down more that $75 per month.  That may not sound like a lot at first, but if I keep these savings up, I will have saved almost $1,000 over the course of the entire year.

As we end the year and go into 2018, I strongly suggest you use these fuel cost saving tips as one of your potential New year’s resolutions.

I never really realized just how much money easy tips like these could save until I found out that one of my good friends (who does not make all that much money from his job) bought an extremely nice house and paid more than half of it down.  When I asked him who they robbed or what lottery they won, he told me that his wife is a pretty heavy couponer.  After talking to her, I found all kinds of ways to save money here and there (which add up quickly).  In fact, she is the source where I discovered many of these great fuel savers.

Note: if you’re looking for fringe theories about magnetic fuel, magnetic fuel savers, or mysterious gadgets and voodoo that will boost your fuel economy with magic beans, then this isn’t the article for you. While there’s still a fierce debate about those magical magnetic fuel devices, we’re going to stick to genuine, verifiable ideas instead.

Nighttime Fill Ups Are Best

Fill Up at night

Think of how many gas stations are out there.  Most likely, you pass tens (if not hundreds) on your way to work every day.  Though it may not seem like it, gas stations are extremely competitive.  Many gas stations compete by selling appealing products/services inside the store, but gas prices are also a huge determining factor in their success.  Knowing that C-stores are competitive, you’ll find that many gas stations lower their gas prices after the evening traffic rush and keep them as low as possible until the morning in attempt to attract as many customers as possible.

Try to Find a Cluster of Gas Stations

Speaking of competition, it’s generally best to go to locations where multiple gas stations exist within the same mile, or even better, within the same intersection.  These gas stations are forced to be more competitive than the classic loner station that can afford to raise their prices because of people that are forced to stop at their location (in fear of running out of gas).  Not only are clusters of gas stations the best to find competitive gas prices, but you can also usually find more competitive pricing for products inside their stores.

Stay Away From Gas Stations That Aren’t On The Beaten Path

Gas station off the beaten path

As we mentioned above, gas stations that aren’t along high-traffic roads generally have less of a need to be competitive, resulting in high prices at the pump.  However, another important variable that affects gas prices is transportation.  Fuel trucks generally travel via major highways and interstates and stop at their destinations along the way.  However, if they have to travel a significant distance out of their way to deliver fuel, you can count on it costing quite a bit more at the pump.  This is especially true for gas stations on mountains or along really curvy roads.

Use An App To Find Cheap Gas

Gas Price Checking Apps

Another great way to find the most affordable locations to buy fuel is through gas apps.  Apps like “Gas Buddy” and “Gas Guru” are able to take your location (by using your GPS coordinates) and will map out all gas stations around you and will list their fuel prices also.  These apps use the social networking concepts and award app users with points/rewards in return for logging gas prices when they fill their tanks.  The apps also include promotions where applicable.  Gas apps also allow you to track your gas receipts and allow you to log important statistics to track miles per gallon, cost per gallon/tank, and more.  Google Maps and Waze (navigation apps) also have similar capabilities.

Fill your tank in colder weather

Fill up in the cold weather

Gasoline becomes denser in cooler weather, while it expands as temperatures rise.  For this reason, it is best to fill up at night when temperatures are lower.  You’ll get more bang for your buck!  Gasoline expands and contracts at a pretty drastic rate.  Gasoline has a coefficient of 950 and changes volume 4.5 times more than water per degree of temperature change.  Studies indicate that gas volume is reduced by 1% for every drop in temperature of 19 degrees Fahrenheit.  By filing your tank late at night or early in the morning, you’ll likely get an extra 1-3% more fuel out of your tank if you drive mainly during the warmer hours of the day.

Sign Up For Gas Station Rewards Programs

Rewards programs are a win-win for both the customer and retailer.  They allow the retailer to capture loyalty (return) customers, while saving their customers money.  It also allows retailers to capture important data/insights from their customers that they can use to benefit their business further.  Some gas stations also offer credit card programs for frequent customers that allow them to finance their gas while getting cash back or points for their purchases.

Fill Up at a Grocery Store

Grocery stores and retail chains can sometimes be the absolute best and least expensive places to fill up your tank.  Retailers like Wal-Mart that boast a one-stop-shop try to profit a little more from their current visitors.  Gas pumps are also a great volume-driver (they attract potential visitors that stop for gas and then remember something that they need to buy from inside the store so they go in and end up buying multiple products).  Because these retail chains often have their own supply chain, they’re able to deliver gas to customers for a cheaper price than your classic gas station.  Members clubs like Sam’s Club and Costco usually provide very inexpensive fuel to their members as a benefit of being a member.

Use The Recommended Fuel Type

use your manuals recommended fuel grade

Read your vehicle’s manual to determine the recommended fuel type and only use the type that is recommended for your vehicle.  Approximately 70% of all gasoline-engine vehicles in the United States only require standard gasoline.  Approximately 14% of vehicles recommend using mid-grade or above and 16% of vehicles require premium gasoline.  In many instances, vehicles that recommend standard fuel get no extra benefit from using premium fuel.  Some vehicles actually run better on standard fuel, believe it or not.

Use A Quality Fuel Injection Cleaner

fuel system cleaners

So you’ve probably heard mixed opinions about using a fuel system cleaner.  Most of them boast the ability to increase horsepower, torque, and gas mileage, and even the best fuel injection cleaners can do this for less than $20 usually.  Despite all of the critics, fuel injection cleaners have undergone quite a bit of testing over the years and pretty much all of the tests show positive results, which is why we recommend giving it a try.  A clean fuel system definitely isn’t going to hurt your gas mileage any!

Never Fill Up If A Gas Truck Is Present

Don't fill when gas truck is present - this is an old fuel saver tip

Gas stations fuel reserves are typically located underground beneath the parking lot of the fuel pumps.  Their reserve tanks operate similar to your vehicle’s fuel tank, in that the sediment settles to the bottom of the tank.  When a fuel truck is present and pumping gasoline into the reserve tank, the sediment is disturbed and mixed in with all of the gasoline.  Even with filters, the gasoline is not as clean as it would be in a settled state.

Fill Up Before Your Empty Indicator Light Turns On

If at all possible, try to fill up your tank a significant amount while avoiding the gas light indicator at all costs.  Cruising around on empty all the time can be very bad for your vehicle.  Not only is it hard on your fuel pump/system, but it can also lead to sediment buildup in the fuel system.  Trust me, you’ll want to avoid these unnecessary costs by all means.  Gas gauges aren’t entirely accurate either.  Once you’re down to your last gallon, it’s difficult for the gauge to display the correct amount at those low margins.

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Paul Sawyer
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