Looking for ways to cut back on your spending in the New Year? A great place to start is your car. Just like with anything else, it's the little things here and there that really add up and make a difference when it comes to costs on the road. We've put together some helpful tips and dispelled some myths to help you hold on to more of your hard-earned money this year.
MYTH OR FACT?
#1 Overall fuel economy drops as the temperature does.
. As the temperature plummets, your car has to work harder to get you from point A to B, and as a result, you will likely experience slightly fewer miles per gallon. What can you do to fight the downward trend?
Be sure to check your wheel alignment. Improperly aligned wheels can increase wear on your tires, not to mention decrease overall vehicle stability—and that's not a good thing on icy winter roads. Plus, your engine could end up working harder, resulting in increased fuel consumption of up to 2.5 percent, according to some estimates.
#2 Warming up your car's engine before driving saves money.
While this might have been true with the classic cars of your parents' generation, modern vehicles employ a fuel injection technique that adjusts to cold temperatures very effectively (unlike old carburetors).
Warming the car up before you depart is not only a waste of time, but a major waste of fuel too. Idling for just 10 seconds uses more fuel than re-starting your vehicle.
#3 Keeping your tires properly inflated (but not over-inflated) will boost your gas mileage.
Keeping your tires inflated to the manufacturer's recommended level (found in your owner's manual) has a myriad of benefits.
You can improve your car's fuel economy by up to 3.3 percent by ensuring your tires are inflated properly, according to the U.S. Department of Energy's guidelines. Plus, properly-inflated tires grip the road better in icy winter conditions and last longer—which will save you even more money in the long run.
#4 Gas prices are generally unaffected by seasonal temperature influxes.
While many factors obviously play into the price of gas, such as supply and demand and politics and governmental action, the EPA mandates that gasoline producers use seasonal fuel blends with different additives for maximum efficiency.
The winter typically contains less expensive additives, and these savings are almost always passed on to consumers.
Following these simple winter driving tips will help you save money little by little not only through the winter, but throughout the year as well. Safe travels and happy savings!