Note from Investopedia: Gerri Willis, Fox Business Network Host, has a special this evening on how to avoid panic at the pump. "The Willis Report: Gas Price Shock" will explore the rising cost of gas and oil in the U.S. and will examine the causes and possible solutions. She's given us a preview of the tips she'll offer for how the average consumer can fight against these gas prices. Read on to find out how you can cut your gas costs and make those skyrocketing prices have less effect on your budget.
Lose the lead foot. Driving fast increases turbulence and thus your fuel consumption. The federal government says that driving like a race car driver can reduce fuel efficiency by 33%.
Get the Junk Out of Your Trunk
Carrying around a lot of heavy gear makes your car weigh more and raises fuel consumption. Make your ride more aerodynamic by ditching the kayak carry. Any loaded roof rack increases drag.
Maintain Your Car
Make sure you are up to date with required oil changes and all regular maintenance schedules. If a warning light shows up on your dash, get it checked out – even a broken gas cap can cost you extra gas dollars.
SEE: What Determines Gas Prices?
The Shortest Distance Between Two Points Is ... Always on Google Maps
Don't drive around unnecessarily – if you've got lots of stops on Saturday morning, make sure you are taking the shortest routes.
Use Cruise Control When Possible
Your car's computer is better at maintaining an even speed than mere mortals – if you're taking a long highway trip, use it!
Pulse and Glide
OK, if you want to go for the big savings, do what the savings-obsessed hypermilers do, accelerate and then ease back so that your car glides. This technique is only for hybrid vehicle owners.
Step 1: Get your car to 30 or 40 MPH.
Step 2: Ease back slightly on the accelerator until no energy arrows appear on the monitor.
That means your vehicle is neither relying on the engine or recharging the battery. That's when the car glides and the savings begin. When the vehicle slows back down to 30 miles per hour, repeat the process. By minimizing your use of the internal combustion engine, you can improve fuel economy.
The Bottom Line
These tips can help every consumer save on gas. For more tips and insight into why these costs are rising and what can be done about them, tune into the show tonight at 8 p.m. EST.