What you can do behind the wheel to save money as gas prices keep rising

ByJason Knowles and Ann Pistone WLS logo
Wednesday, March 16, 2022
What to do behind the wheel to save money on gas
Gas price inflation may feel like a cost that's out of your control but there are things you can do behind the wheel to save money.

CHICAGO (WLS) -- Surging gas prices may feel like a huge added cost which is out of your control, but there are ways to save.

You may be wasting gas without realizing it. Keep your car steady as you drive and avoid pumping the gas erratically. Use cruise control when you can. A constant, smooth, ride will save you money at the pump.

"What this does is it reduces the number of accelerations that you have to do. So it really keeps the fuel keeps you driving fuel efficiently. You don't really think that you're the cause of you know your expensive fuel bills, but you really are," advises Tim Waldenback, co-founder of Zutobi, an online drivers education platform.

READ MORE: Illinois drivers flock to Wisconsin for cheaper fill-ups

He offered many gas saving tips, including putting the brakes on your air conditioning.

"People really use it all the time and I do it myself," he said. "But if you're having a very fuel demand-- if you're driving a fuel demanding vehicle, you should know that for specific brands the air conditioning can increase the fuel usage by up to 20% especially on older vehicles, and that's a lot."

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Other tips from AAA is to make sure tire pressure is where it should be, avoid driving above 55 miles per hour and don't idle. Consider running multiple errands at one time, if you drive many many times to during different days or even different in the same day, you will use more fuel.

You may want to trade in a gas guzzler for a newer, fuel efficient vehicle or go electric.

"I think people should really do sit down and do a calculation of what your costs are, what the true cost of record really is. And see perhaps if a new car is cheaper, when you compare the initial price as well as the running costs," said Waldenback.

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But if you buy new, be prepared to wait on pandemic related delivery delays.

You can also save money on gas by taking public transportation when able.

Don't forget about online grocery and other delivery services. Experts say the fees may be worth paying when you compare it to paying almost $5 a gallon in gas in the Chicago area.