Let’s face it, paying for gasoline is expensive. Fuel prices have been at high levels in Fort Bend County for some time. So, now is a good time to review some of the best ways to save money at the pump because, while you can’t control the price of gas, you can control how much of it you use with regular auto maintenance and good driving habits. A little bit saved here and there can add up to big savings later.

Drive a fuel-efficient vehicle

Obviously, the single best thing you can do to get good fuel economy is to drive a car that’s good on gas. While fuel efficiency isn’t isn’t the only criteria you should use when purchasing a vehicle, it it is an important one. That said, no matter how good your vehicle’s EPA fuel rating is, your driving behavior can make your mileage take a big nosedive.

To learn more about EPA ratings, visit the their website. They have fuel mileage calculators and fuel economy ratings for all vehicles sold in the country.

Drive strategically

Drive smart, for instance, you could buddy up with a coworker and carpool to work. Don’t like the idea of riding in a car with your coworkers? No problem, you could experiment and commute to work a little earlier or leave a little later, if it’s okay with your boss of course. In general, try to group your trips and schedule them for times when traffic is lighter if possible.

Maintain your car

This is advice everyone should follow. Regular auto maintenance is important because when you maintain your vehicle, you spend less on gas and you keep more if it’s resale value. Be sure to remember to do the easy stuff like going in for regular oil changes and replacing your air filter when it’s dirty. Also, if you haven’t already upgraded to using synthetic oil, doing so now will improve your mileage.

Next, follow your owner’s manual and get a wheel alignment and a tire service as recommened. This includes tire balancing and maintaining proper inflation. To learn more about wheel alignments, click here. When it’s time to replace your tires, consider Goodyear. Visit your Goodyear tire dealer to see a full range of fuel efficient tires.

Watch your weight

Check your backseat and trunk to make sure you’re only carrying the things you absolutely need in your vehicle. Every bit of excess weight you remove saves you money at the gas pump. It’s also safer because loose or unsecured objects like books or umbrellas can become dangerous projectiles if you have to slam on the brakes suddenly or if your are involved in an accident.

Beware of fuel saving scams

Watch out for someone advertising gas-saving products that promise to improve your fuel economy. According to the EPA and the Federal Trade Commission, most claims made by fuel saving additives and fuel saving products are not true. The true way to save is determined by the vehicle you drive, how you maintain it and how you drive it.

Join a store loyalty program

Most wholesale membership clubs like Costco and Sam’s Club offer fuel discounts to their members. Further, some grocery stores let you earn points or credits for the money you spend on groceries. In turn, these points can be redeemed at select gas stations when you fill up.

The details for these programs vary from retailer-to-retailer, so ask around. No matter where you fill up, always use the right octane level for your car. Putting premium gas in an engine designed to run on regular, for example, won’t improve its efficiency. Also, remember to tighten your gas cap when your done or you could trigger a check engine light.

Do you want to find out current gas prices in your neighborhood without having to drive around? Here is a link to Motor Trend magazine’s list of gas prices in Sugar Land.

In summary

If your don’t drive the most fuel efficient vehicle on the road or if a newer, more fuel efficient car isn’t in your immediate plans, don’t worry. If you monitor your driving behavior and maintain your vehicle properly, you can save money every time you fill up at the gas pump. Lastly, to maintain your car in it’s peak condition, trust your vehicle to an auto technician that’s ASE certified and AAA approved.

Do you want to get the most mileage from your vehicle? The friendly experts First Tire & Automotive can give you advice you need because we’ve been serving owners in the Fort Bend County area since 1988. Give us a call or stop by one of our three convenient locations today.