Minnesota Farmer

2011 to start with rising fuel prices.
December 31, 2010, 5:43 pm
Filed under: cars, make a difference, time | Tags: , , , , , ,

As 2010 draws to a close we have seen the prices at the gas pump go up to a national average of over $3.00.  Expect more to come.  Typically gasoline prices rise one quarter to one half of their price by spring. This could mean prices of between $3.75 and $4.50 at the pump by May.  There are many factors in this price rise, including the extra fuel needed for heating in the cold winter months.

There are ways you can cut the impact of the rising fuel costs on your pocket book, but they may require a change in the way you drive.  Here are a few driving tips to help you cut fuel usage.

  1. Don’t warm up your car.  A car sitting outside idling is using fuel, and does not do much to warm your car anyway.  Accept the fact that you are going to be sitting in a cold car, put on another layer, and get going.  Besides, an idling car is more likely to be the target of a car thief.
  2. Check your tire pressure.  Low tire pressure means more energy is needed to move your car forward.
  3. Think ahead.  Using your brakes excessively means more fuel use.  Take your foot off of the accelerator and coast to that stop sign or stop light.  Most cars need over a quarter of a mile to coast to a stop from 55 mph.  That’s a quarter of a mile of fuel you will not need to buy.
  4. Accelerate slowly.  Slamming down the foot will not get you there that much faster, and uses more fuel.  Watch your tachometer and keep it at a lower number as you accelerate.  You are not in a race.
  5. Consolidate trips.  Is this trip really needed, or could you consolidate this trip with another.
  6. Buy local.  Is it really worth driving 100 miles to save a few pennies?
  7. Know your car.  I have a car that is really economical to drive at 50 to 60 mph but is a gas hog at 70 mph or more.  It’s a great car for trips around town, but not for the freeway.
  8. Consider buying a different car.  Do you really need that big motor in your big car or could you get by with something smaller.  Make fuel economy a major part of your choice in your next car purchase.

Saving money on the road is not easy.  It requires thinking about fuel usage all the time.  As fuel prices climb it will become more and more worth while to think about how much fuel you use.



1 Comment so far
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Happy New Year, Michael!
Keep up the good work – I love all the posts about running a farm and musings about life and nature.. It’s been a great source of inspiration and learning all through 2010. Looking forward to more in 2011!!
Thank you! 🙂

Comment by talkandpolitics

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