Vroom without gloom: The ultimate guide to saving money on gas

Sep 22 2022, 8:23 pm

Gas prices in Canada are a rollercoaster ride that we all have to fasten our seatbelts for — literally and figuratively. 

With prices spiking up and down each week, we wanted to get to the bottom of how to pinch every penny at the pump.

Daily Hive Urbanized spoke with Chris Reynolds, field expert and spokesperson for Canada Drives, and picked his brain about ways Canadians can save money on gas.

Staying on top of vehicle maintenance

The importance of regular maintenance of your car and the impact it has on fuel consumption is crucial.

“The biggest one would be tire pressure. If your tire pressure is low, you’re creating more resistance for the vehicle, creating more fuel consumption,” Reynolds said.

It’s important to stay on top of your tire pressure to avoid making frequent visits to the pump. Monitoring oil changes and clearing air filters can also ensure your visits to the gas station are far and few between. 

“Clearing out excess weight from your vehicle is also beneficial as it slows you down and increases fuel consumption,” Reynolds added. 

Treating your vehicle as a storage unit will only lead to you having to visit the pump sooner, and you can save a lot of money staying on top of it. 

Replace your winter tires ASAP

It turns out that even the tires you’re using can have an effect on quicker pump visits.

“Make sure you take winter tires off at the right moment. They can create drag, and they create more grip on the ground,” Reynolds said.

When asked about how we can assess the optimal timing of winter tire removal, Reynolds advises paying attention to local weather patterns and adjusting accordingly. 


Adapting your driving style

Your driving style can have a substantial impact on how often you will be visiting the gas station. 

“You want to avoid consistently accelerating, braking, and idling,” Reynolds said. These factors all contribute to more frequent fill-ups. 

Monitoring your RPM (revolutions per minute) can also be beneficial, and Reynolds suggests keeping it at a maximum of 3,000 RPMs. “RPMs are a good gauge at how you’re driving. Keep it low as you are taking off in the colder times of year.”

Speaking of which, during the colder months, warming up your vehicle can also be beneficial. “It only takes three minutes!” Reynolds said.

On the flip side, during warmer months, it’s advised to avoid using air conditioning when you don’t need it. Additionally, having your windows up keeps an aerodynamic flow, as having them down creates drag into your vehicle and slows it down, thus, your car will be working harder and you will need to pump more often. 

Fill up fast and check the apps

First and foremost, don’t wait until your tank is empty.

“The key is to consistently pay attention to localized pricing,” Reynolds said. “If prices are low, fill up even if you’re at half a tank.”

When asked about what apps or platforms he would recommend to drivers, he suggested GasBuddy, Waze, and local automobile association apps. 

These platforms can steer you in the right direction, literally. “Pay attention and recognize when gas prices are low, and act on it!” 

Alexander Steamaze/Shutterstock

Find the most fuel-efficient vehicle

Reynolds noted that he has seen a larger trend of people online looking for electric or hybrid vehicles, as drivers are searching for more fuel-efficient vehicles. 

When it comes to which vehicles would be recommended in this case, he said Mitsubishi Mirage, Nissan Versa, and Toyota Corolla are great fuel-efficient options. Additionally, sedans and hatchbacks are other excellent options.

There’s a plethora of ways to be fuel efficient and save money on gas, and with the expected rise in prices in the season ahead, keeping these things in mind will ensure you stay away from the pump and save effectively.

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