Gas prices are breaking records across Canada right now. Vancouver continues to hover at an unbelievable $1.62 per litre, and Ontario prices are expected to keep climbing to well over $1.40 this summer. The worst part is that there's no relief in sight.
But, believe it or not, there are actually ways to trick your car into using less fuel while you drive. These tricks could end up saving you a ton of money at the pump.
We've rounded up seven useful tips that you've probably never heard of, that actually work like a charm.
1. Get rid of your junk.
Here's a bit more incentive to finally clean out your car. For every additional 100 lbs of stuff you store in your car, you're lowering your gas mileage by 2%. All those empty takeout containers add up quicker than you think, and they're costing you money.
2. Stop indulging your need for speed.
Your car uses 20% more gas when you drive at over 120 km/hour. Even when you drive at 100 km/hour, you're using significantly less gas. The faster you go, the quicker you'll have to fill up again.
3. Get in the habit of taking it slow.
Driving advice can sound a lot like dating advice - take it slow, and definitely don't rush into things. The harder you hit the gas pedal when the light turns green, the more fuel you consume. When you approach a stop, slow down gradually instead of braking to a halt. These behaviours are increasing your gas consumption by up to 40%.
4. Roll down the windows instead of air conditioning.
You wouldn't believe how much gas you're wasting just by cranking your A/C. It can increase your gas consumption by 20%. Keep your windows cracked instead, or only keep your air conditioning long enough to get comfortable, and then turn it off.
5. Figure out how to measure your tire pressure. Seriously.
Most of us are probably guilty of never doing this, but you should be checking the air pressure in your tires at least once a month. You won't even realize it, but even the most minor deflation in your tires could be the reason why your gas tank empties so quickly.
6. If possible, avoid idling by turning your engine off every 60 seconds.
Unless you're in stop-and-go traffic, do your best to avoid keeping your car running for longer than a minute at a time. Idling is eating up your gas way quicker than you think. Technically, idling for longer than 10 seconds burns more fuel than restarting your car, so it makes more sense to just turn it off and back on instead of letting it run.
7. Find out what your car's maintenance schedule is and follow it religiously.
Oil changes and maintenance checks are annoying AF, but they need to get done. A poorly maintained car can cost up to fifteen cents more per litre every time you fill up, which can get crazy expensive in the long run. Don't pay more than you have to for gas when you can easily keep your car in good shape instead.
Source: Natural Resources Canada