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Save Gas with These Four Driving Hacks


Living in Hawaii comes with many pluses, but the gas prices aren’t one of them. In November 2019, the average gasoline price in Hawaii was $3.661 per gallon—which was $1.058 more expensive than the national average. When you’re paying prices like that, you want to make sure you squeeze as much as possible out of every gallon. With these driving tips, you can.

#1: Avoid Aggressive Driving

Traffic can be frustrating but responding with aggressive driving only makes the situation worse. For one thing, aggressive driving can be dangerous. You might annoy other drivers, thereby contributing to road rage. There’s also a chance you’ll get a ticket or even cause a crash.

Aggressive driving can also make you go through gas faster. According to the U.S. Department of Energy, aggressive driving lowers your gas mileage by about 15 to 30 percent at highway speeds. If you’re stuck in stop-and-go traffic, you can expect aggressive driving to reduce your gas mileage by about 10 to 40 percent.

Keep your gas mileage under control by avoiding these three behaviors:

  • Speeding – Avoid going over the speed limit. You may need to reduce your speed due to traffic or road conditions.
  • Rapid acceleration – Accelerating too fast puts strain on your car – and your wallet.
  • Braking – Avoid sudden and hard braking.

#2: Don’t Be Idle

You don’t have to be going anywhere to go through gas. Idling uses fuel.

How much fuel is wasted depends on a few factors, including the type of vehicle. According to the U.S. Department of Energy, a compact sedan might use less than .20 gallons per hour, while a medium heavy truck might use more than .80 gallons per hour. A transit bus will use almost a gallon of diesel an hour.

These rates assume you don’t have the air conditioner on. If you’re idling to keep yourself cool, expect to waste even more fuel. Save gas by turning off the engine when you’re parked.  

#3: Keep Things Light

The heavier your car is, the more energy will be required to make it go. According to the U.S. Department of Energy, having an extra 100 pounds in your car can reduce your fuel efficiency by about 1 percent. It might not sound like much, but it will add up over time.

To keep your car from getting weighed down, remove any items that aren’t needed.   

#4: Maintain Your Vehicle

Some people try to keep the air conditioner off to save on fuel. If you’re comfortable without the AC, this is a fine strategy. According to Consumer Reports, having the AC on can reduce fuel economy by one to four miles per gallon, while rolling down the windows didn’t have a measurable effect. 

However, if you need the AC to stay cool – and to stay safe behind the wheel – go ahead and turn it on. Instead of worrying about how much you use the AC, you’ll be better off worrying about how your vehicle runs overall.

Keeping up with maintenance can help you save on gas. The U.S. Department of Energy says that fixing a vehicle that’s out of tune or has failed an emissions test can improve the gas mileage by 4 percent. For more serious problems, repairs can improve mileage by up to 40 percent. Also keep the tires properly inflated and use the motor oil that’s recommended by the manufacturer.