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Six Surprising Ways to Use Less Gas

Conserving gasoline is the goal of all drivers who are feeling the pain of high gas prices. It’s essential to save every drop of gas possible, because you don’t want to pay more than you already have to. There are lots of ways to improve your gas mileage, and most of them are obvious, such as walking instead of driving. There are lots of other tips and tricks, however, that might be surprising or unknown to many people, and here are some of the best.

Tighten Your Gas Cap

When you fuel up, make sure you tighten your gas cap as much as possible. In most cases, you should turn it until you hear it click three times. If you live in one of the two states where you don’t pump your own gas, check the tightness of the cap when you get home after filling up. A loose gas cap can let precious gas vapors escape, reducing your gas mileage and efficiency.

Park in the Shade

When it’s hot outside, your car will quickly heat up, and you’ll need to put on the air conditioning to make things comfortable and put less strain on your engine. Whenever possible, park in the shade, or use shades on your windshield and windows. If you can keep your car cooler, you won’t need to run the air conditioning quite so high, which can save you a lot of gas.

Park Farther Away

If you circle around the parking lot looking for the best spot, you’re going to be wasting gas. Don’t do it. In a full parking lot, just park in the first spot you find, even if it’s farther away than you’d like. Walking a few extra yards is a way to conserve gasoline, and not to mention that the extra bit of walking is always good for your health.

Stop Tailgating

If you’re one of those people who drive super close to the car in front of you, you should stop, and not only because it’s super annoying. Tailgating wastes gas, because you end up having to brake more often. Leave more space between you and the car in front of you to save gas.

Stay in Your Lane

Another driving habit that’s just a bad idea all around is constantly switching lanes. If you like to weave in and out of traffic, it’s causing you to accelerate and brake much more than if you’d just stay where you are. Stay in your lane, and your engine and gas tank will thank you.

Get Rid of the Rack

Anything that creates resistance for your vehicle while driving will increase your gas usage. If you have a bike rack, or any type of rack or addition, on the top or back of your vehicle, consider ditching it. Especially if you don’t use it very often or at all, getting rid of the rack will decrease resistance and allow your vehicle to travel more easily and use less gas.

Garrett Payne is a mechanical engineer who works with Nissan.  He enjoys blogging about car maintenance, fuel efficiency, and driving tips in his spare time.

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