Dos and don'ts for saving money on gas

Whether you're taking a trip or driving to work, knowing which wasteful habits you may have and changing them can help you gain ground in the battle against rising fuel prices.

Dos and don'ts for saving money on gas

Do...

1. Keep your car in tip-top condition. Don't wait until you're leaving on a road trip to get your car an inspection. A well-maintained vehicle requires the least amount of fuel to run efficiently.

  • Check your carburetor, gas and oil filters for clogs and leaks.
  • Ensure your tires are in good shape and properly inflated.
  • Get a regular tune-up and wheel alignment.

2. Maximize car trips by planning errands. Short and frequent daily trips burn gas money so try to combine errands and map the shortest routes.

  • If going to several shops within short distances, park your car and walk to each location.

3. Try carpooling. You can save time and money by sharing driving and splitting gas money.

  • Just remember that successful carpooling requires time management and discipline in following your carpool rules.

4. Try Canada's ride-share programs. Canadians enjoy the perks of multi-passenger car travel with these programs. Vehicles can use the designated HOV (High Occupancy Vehicle) lanes that save passengers valuable commute time and gas money.

Don't...

1. Stuff your car. Even when taking a trip in your car, try to remember that less is more. A packed car burns more fuel, with every hundred pounds of weight translating to 2 per cent lesser fuel economy.

  • Always drive light and check for proper weight distribution when on a long car trip.
  • Never treat your car as an extension of your home or office.

2. Overwork your car. Stop depending solely on your car to move you around.

  • Use those bike or walk lanes, or consider public transport for long trips that are conveniently serviced by a train or bus.
  • You not only save on gas and parking fees, but you also save your car tires from wear and tear.

3. Warm up the engine for too long. Idling a car for just two minutes consumes the same amount of gas as one mile of travel.

  • Experts recommend 30 to 60 seconds of warming up followed by a short spin to prepare a car for cold weather driving.
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