More Ways to Save on Transportation - WSFA.com Montgomery Alabama news.

More Ways to Save on Transportation

  • Try walking or bicycling, especially on short trips. It's good exercise. Breath the fresh air. Discover something new. Meet your neighbors.

  • Use the shortest route and avoid sightseeing trips and bottlenecks. Try not to drive during rush-hour or other peak traffic hours. Compare traveling distance differences - corners, curves, and lane jumping use extra gas. Use straighter routes and remember the shortest distance between two points is always straight.

  • Do your local bargain hunting by using the internet, checking newspaper ads, and using your telephone. Do they deliver? Let them pay for the gas! Try mail order firms, too. (But watch shipping and handling costs!)

  • Check out the Wednesday papers and make a list and do all the grocery shopping once or twice a week. Join with friends and neighbors. Have each person do shopping for everyone else at a particular store. Then meet back at one location in the neighborhood and have a party sorting everyone's items out.

  • Let the kids run some of the errands. Many neighborhood kids will be glad to walk or bike down to the store for you. Let them walk to school, too. (If it's close enough).

  • Public transportation may be cheaper, especially when traveling alone.

  • Pack as little in your car as necessary so it has less weight to carry. Remove excess weight from the trunk or inside the car - extra tires (beyond the spare), back seats, unnecessary heavy parts. Added weight reduces mileage, especially when driving up inclines.

  • Shop around for service stations with the lowest gasoline prices. But don't use all your gas going out of the way to get there!

  • Don't speed. Cars get about 21% more mileage at 55 mph then at 70 mph. Better planning reduces the need for speeding, to get there in time. Planning also reduces road rage and your chance of having an accident.

  • When starting your car, don't idle it for more than 30 seconds, even in cold weather. Today's cars are designed to be driven almost immediately. If you must stop for more than 30 seconds, don't idle your car. The engine is more fuel efficient if your turn it off and restart it.

  • Drive evenly with a steady foot. Avoid jiggling the accelerator. 

  • Use air conditioning only when necessary. Try opening the window. Automobile air conditioners can reduce fuel economy by 10% to 20%. Heater fan, power windows and seats increase engine load; the more load on your engine, the less miles per gallon.

  • Avoid "jackrabbit" starts. When starting, press accelerator slowly. Avoid panic stops. When possible, coast to stops such as traffic lights.

  • Remove items that cause wind resistance, such as luggage racks. Don't forget to release the emergency brake before pulling away. Vinyl tops cause air drag - remove if possible. All rough surfaces disturb otherwise smooth air flow around the car's body.

  • Stop revving your engine before killing it. It wastes gas and wears out cylinders.

  • Keep tuned to radio traffic reports & avoid traffic jams, other delays.

  • Make certain your gas cap fits properly.

  • Use the lowest octane gas that won't make your engine knock.

  • Use only your right foot for accelerating and braking. That way you can't accidentally ride the brake and use excessive gas. Also do not rest your left foot on the pedals while driving. The slightest pressure puts mechanical drag on components, wearing them down prematurely and increases fuel consumption.

  • Shift into high gear as soon as possible. If you have automatic transmission, lift your foot from the accelerator about one second early.

  • Pass other cars as soon as you see you are overtaking them. Don't wait.

  • Keep your car properly tuned for top fuel efficiency. Regular tune-ups ensure the best economy. A misfiring spark plug can reduce fuel efficiency by as much as 30%.  Check your owner's manual for recommended maintenance intervals. special attention should be given to maintaining clean air filters. Reduced air flow wastes gasoline.

  • Keep brakes properly adjusted. Dragging brakes increases resistance.

  • Operate as small a car as possible for your driving needs. (Small cars weighing half as much as large cars use about half as much gasoline!)

  • If possible avoid cars with gas-consuming options such as air conditioning; power equipment such as window, door locks, etc.; automatic transmission, etc.

  • In hot climates, drive a car with light colored exterior and interior, to reflect light, heat. Tinted glass also prevents heat buildup (comply with all law enforcement restrictions on tinted window!).

  • Use radial tires for less friction between tire and road, thus saving fuel. Keep tires inflated to the maximum limit. Each tire should be periodically supn, balanced, and checked for out-of-round. Get large diameter tires for rear wheels. Check manufacturers specifications for maximum tire pressure.

  • When driving, keep your eyes moving and your feet still! Keep your steering wheel still too. The more you weave back and forth, the farther your car has to travel and the more gas is consumed.

  • Don't overfill your gas tank. It could leak or spill in heat or on a hill.

  • When you see a hill ahead, build up speed before you reach it, then maintain your speed on the slope. (If you must accelerate on the hill, you will use much more fuel). Then coast down the other side.

  • Keep wheels aligned for better mileage. Longer tire life, too.

  • If applicable, record all gas purchases for tax deduction purposes.


    Become a one car family, millions of families do it and think how much money you can save on insurance, car payments, maintenance. With a little ingenuity any family can be a one car family. Usually all it takes is planning and cooperation.

  • If you have your heart set on two cars and both are relatively new cars, sell one. In many cases you'll have enough to buy a good used car with no car payments that will do for running errands, going to work, etc.

  • If you have your heart set on buying a new car. Do with adequate transportation and invest the money you would give to the bank for a car payment. Once you've saved enough money for your car, you're in a powerful position to bargain. Cash talks and better yet, you will not be in debt for four or five years. Once you buy this car start putting away money for the next one. Even if you expect the car to last ten years you won't get back into the debt cycle when you purchase the next one.

  • Before you buy a car ask yourself, 'Is it a status symbol, or transportation?' That SUV that everyone has might not look so good if the family comes on hard times or when it costs $75 each time you fill it up.

  • If your vehicle is just old and out of style, but in good enough working order to get back and forth to work, consider donating it to a charity that needs cars to help people get back and forth to work. Two in the local area are Catholic Social Services' Care Cars  program and the state's Families Coaches Program . Not only will you provide a life line for someone struggling everyday to make ends meet and keep a job, you can write it off on your taxes. What a deal!!!

  • Barter services. Are you a great house cleaner, a whiz in the garden, a true do it your-selfer around the house but you don't know the carburetor from the fuel tank? You probably have a friend or neighbor that is a true backyard mechanic and was born with a wrench in his/her hand. Barter jobs of equivalent time worth and complexity and you could both be helped.

  • Getting Your Vehicle Ready for Summer

    Summer's heat, dust, and stop-and-go traffic, will take their toll on your vehicle. Add the effects of last winter, and you could be poised for a breakdown. You can lessen the odds of mechanical failure by taking some simple precautions.More >>
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