Sunday, January 31, 2010

Slash Costs at the Gas Pump

Many Americans can't imagine going to work, the grocery store and performing daily activities without their car. Many Americans have cars where they owe more than the car is worth. No matter what your particular situation is taking care of your car will help it last longer and save you money in the process.

Americans are still feeling the effects of the recession. Gas prices across the country range from $2.43 per gallon for regular gas in Missouri to $3.64 per gallon in Alaska. Surviving any type of financial crisis will require sacrifices. A quick way to save money is by getting proper maintenance on your car. Here are 6 ways to slash costs at the gas pump.

1. Carpool. If gas prices are eating up a bulk of your monthly income start carpooling. Offer to pick up co-workers or friends who work near your job. Charge enough money to cover the costs of gas and car maintenance. You can also use carpooling services if you don't want to drive.

2. Downgrade. Trade in your expensive car for a cheaper car or get a more fuel-efficient car. This will save you money which can be used to pay down debt, pay for necessary household expenses or save for an emergency fund.

3. Regular Maintenance. Perform regular maintenance on your car at the scheduled intervals, get regular tune-ups, oil changes, check tire pressure, air filters, and check your tires for wear. This will help improve your car's gas mileage and save you money in the future.

4. Drive the Limit. Maintaining a constant speed by driving the speed limit reduces the amount of gas needed to rev up the engine to go faster and will keep you from filling up more often. It is also better for the environment.

5. Generic Tires. Buy generic brand tires. This will improve your gas mileage and save you money when buying new tires. Standard tires also provide a better ride especially on the highway.

6. Combine Trips. If possible combine nearby trips on the same day to reduce gas usage.

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