New York’s average price of gas hit an all-time high in June, with prices topping $5 a gallon. As gas prices continue to soar, the following tips are recommended to help save money on gas.

  • Try to avoid filling up right before a holiday or weekend when gas prices tend to be higher. Choose the lowest octane recommended for your car.
  • Make sure the gas pump reads $0 before you begin and stops when you finish pumping. Make sure the price per gallon remains the same throughout the entire time you are pumping.
  • Know the size of your gas tank and how many gallons it holds, to ensure you are getting what you pay for at the pump.
  • Keep your car maintained. If you’re suddenly burning more gas, it may be an indication certain parts aren’t working properly. Oxygen sensors, fuel injectors, air filters, and spark plugs are all linked to fuel consumption. If any of these is in bad shape, your car will use more fuel than normal.
  • Get your oil changed regularly, or your fuel efficiency will be negatively impacted. For newer models, you’re advised to change the oil every 10k miles. For models before 2010, the oil may need to be changed every 3k miles.
  • Make sure your tires are properly inflated. An under-inflated tire rotates more times than a well-filled one to cover the same distance – so if your tires aren’t well inflated, your car will spend more time trying to cover the same distance. Check your tires daily (or weekly, at a minimum).
  • Reduce air conditioning usage. Your AC is necessary in summer, but there are ways to reduce usage. Open the sunroof and doors before driving to let the heat out. Use window shades to reduce sun exposure. Once you start driving, turn the AC to “fresh air” and open your sunroof and windows to allow hot air to escape. Do this for a few minutes, then shut all windows and the sunroof. Now, put the AC in “recirculation” mode.
  • Only carry what’s necessary. Extra weight lowers your gas mileage. Remove roof racks and towing devices when not in use.
  • Use a gas price tracking app to compare rates at local gas stations and try to use a station that is on your route so you aren’t driving extra miles.
  • Use GPS system to ensure you are taking the most efficient route and reduce the likelihood of getting lost and driving unnecessary miles.
  • Compare the price advertised on the sign and on the pump to make sure they are the same. If not, ask which price you will actually be paying.
  • Some gas stations charge more for credit. Cash can sometimes save money.
  • Try not to accelerate too fast or overuse your brakes. When stuck in traffic, ensure there’s plenty of space between you and the driver in front of you, so you can stop slowly when you need to and not slam on your brakes. Stay at or under the speed limit and maintain a consistent rate of speed. Consider cruise control when practicable and try not idle, when possible.
  • Watch out for scams. Scam artists prey on desperate consumers during difficult economic times. Approach alleged fuel saving programs, devices, or chemicals with skepticism.

Sources: NBC New York, startup.info