The beginning of the year seems to leave us with a little bit of the post-holiday blues. Holiday vacations are over, and the cooler temperatures don’t seem to be going anywhere soon. After all the expenses of holiday traveling, gift giving, and those pesky bills due at the beginning of the month, it can also be tough to find ways to actually save money. Never fear, Quail Corners Auto Care is here with some New Year’s Resolutions for you and your car that are sure to help you save money year-round.
Avoid driving during rush hour traffic
Rush hour traffic can be so stop-and-go, and you’ll find yourself burning through a tank of gas much faster when driving during rush hour. If you’re out returning those not-so-great gifts or heading out for a post-holiday road trip, try to head out early enough that you avoid rush hour, or plan ahead and find a good alternative route that isn’t too far out of your way. If your route to work has you regularly stuck in rush hour traffic and there aren’t any alternate routes that don’t put you way out of your way, it might be time to consider buying a hybrid vehicle to save on fuel cost!
Sometimes it seems like it takes an eternity for that stop light to finally turn green, and your first instinct is to push the pedal to the metal and zoom off as quickly as you (legally) can. Our advice? Be patient, always accelerate smoothly, and maintain a steady speed. This will help you get the most out of every tank of gas, AND avoid unnecessary wear on your tires.
Regularly check your tire pressure
This is a big money saver that is easily overlooked. Your tire pressure can make a huge impact on your vehicle’s performance and the amount of fuel it burns. Get in the habit of checking your tire pressure at least once a month to make sure you’re getting the most out of your tires and getting the best gas mileage possible. Check out our tire repair page for more info!
Don’t carry unnecessary weight
This one is a no-brainer. There will always be times that the extra weight is unavoidable — like your annual family road trip out to Aunt Gertrude’s cabin in the mountains, or those big shopping trips where you have to load up your car — but try to avoid carrying a lot of extra weight as often as you can. You will get better gas mileage, and your wallet will thank you!
Don’t let your car idle for too long
During the cooler months, it can be tempting to let your car warm up for 10 minutes before you start driving so you don’t have to spend too much time in the cold. But your engine should be sufficiently warmed up after 30 seconds to a minute, and letting it idle for longer will waste fuel and cost you money over time. While you may have to suffer through the cold for a few extra minutes, your wallet will thank you.
Turn off your engine
Is your date taking forever to get ready? It might seem courtesy to leave the car running to make sure the inside temperature stays nice and warm, but again, letting your car idle for too long wastes gas. The most courteous thing you can do for your car and your date is to turn off your car, ring the doorbell, and politely wait in the foyer for your date to finish getting ready. (This tip saves you money and earns you brownie points with your date!)
Need a haircut, groceries, and to exchange that ugly sweater Aunt Gertrude gave you? Plan to get everything done in one trip so you’re not using unnecessary fuel.
Carpool when possible
While carpooling can sometimes make you feel like you’re in a National Lampoon movie, the extra savings are always worth it, and it’s something that can easily be done all year round. Whether you’re heading into work, going shopping, or on your way to Aunt Gertrude’s cabin in the mountains, carpooling is always a great way to save money and make memories!
If heading out on a road trip, try to plan your route ahead of time. Spend some time researching the best routes, traffic patterns, gas prices in the area, and any major construction that may be going on. If you know these things ahead of time, you’ll save money on your trip.
BONUS TIP: If you haven’t had your vehicle inspected lately, it’s a good idea to have this done before any big trips, especially during the cooler months. You don’t want to be stranded on the side of the road in the cold, so be sure take care of any maintenance before you head out to avoid travel disasters!
Keep up with maintenance and repairs
Can you remember the last time you had an oil change or an engine tune-up? If the answer is no, it’s probably a good idea to bring your vehicle into a local repair shop to have it serviced. Quail Corners Auto Care can help extend the life of your vehicle and make sure you’re getting the best gas mileage possible all year round.
Happy New Year from all of us at Quail Corners Auto Care. We hope to see you soon!