Saving Money At Canadian Gas Pumps
Written by DriveAxis.ca May 11, 2022
The rising price of gas is on everyone’s mind these days, especially due to the current U.S. administration’s insistence on moving beyond fossil fuels to green energy alternatives, inflationary spending, and key world events exacerbating the problem.
However, switching to an electric vehicle is simply not an option for most Canadians, given the much higher sticker prices at the dealership. Caught between a rock and a hard place, you may find yourself looking for ways to save on costs at the pump, while waiting for the energy market to restabilize.
The following tips aren’t just applicable during times of economic strain. By sticking to a few basic principles, you can save on gas costs when times are great, as well. Every penny saved is a penny earned, and there’s no sense paying more at the pump if you don’t have to.
KNOW YOUR VEHICLE
It’s no secret that certain cars are more fuel efficient than others, and it’s wise to choose a vehicle that suits your lifestyle and budget concerns. It may be tempting to pull the trigger on a hot new sports car, but it’ll cost you at the pump. Many high-end sports and luxury vehicles demand premium gasoline, and that can stress your wallet unnecessarily.
The same goes for large SUVs, but automakers are always installing new tech in their vehicles to make them more fuel-efficient. There’s no magic bullet to solve this problem, so if money is a factor, it may be more prudent to stick to a modest 4-cylinder vehicle that still looks great, but is less thirsty at the pump.
GAS UP STRATEGICALLY
Filling up your vehicle requires knowing when to pay a visit to the pump in order to save cash. Gas prices tend to rise as the weekend approaches, typically on a Thursday evening. Gassing up on a Monday or Tuesday can save you in the long run.
This is due to demand. People tend to cruise around on the weekend, go on trips, or drive to recreational events, which means higher demand. The greater that demand is, the higher the price. Come Monday, that temporary buzz has died down, and costs are reduced. The same principle applies to long weekends, as well. Make sure to fill up well in advance, or you’ll pay a hefty sum, especially during the summer months.
The act of driving responsibly extends beyond simply buckling up and laying off the booze before getting behind the wheel. It also includes your on-the-road driving habits. Leadfoots and green light rocketeers may enjoy the thrill, but it comes at a financial cost. The faster you go, and the harder you brake, the more gas you consume.
Putting the pedal to the metal is not a necessity, and even a modest amount of restraint during your daily commute can save you a lot of cash. Similarly, people who drive a stick shift can save gas money by down-shifting, as opposed to hard braking. This is a great technique to master, and it can also extend the lifespan of your brake pads.
Cars are heavy, and it costs more to get around as weight increases. If there’s junk in the trunk, or the back seat, take it out and store it. Every reduction in weight helps the car move forward without having to expend more energy at the cost of gas.
Some people even like to perform weight reductions on their cars to strip out unnecessary components that were shipped from the factory, but this is quite rare. However, the principle applies - the lighter your car is, the less gas it’ll consume.
TIRE PRESSURE AND MAINTENANCE
It’s astonishing to think that so many people are driving around oblivious to the pressure in their tires. The wrong amount can significantly hamper gas mileage, not to mention wear out tires at a much faster rate.
Every vehicle comes with appropriate tire pressure numbers in the manual, as well as the sticker on the inside of the driver’s side door. For Canadian cars, there are usually two sets of numbers for summer and winter tires. Checking this tire pressure every month or two is vital for maintaining good gas mileage and tire longevity, especially given the frequency of our changing seasons and weather patterns. Hot and cold spells can inflate or reduce tire pressure, and neither scenario is good.
Similarly, regular maintenance under the hood can help boost your car’s gas mileage, and save on costs. Engine tune ups are a great way to make sure your car is running optimized at all times, as are consistent filter and oil changes.
CONSIDER A HYBRID
Many people simply can’t afford an EEV, or don’t have access to a charging station, which means they cannot take advantage of an all-electric vehicle. Hybrids, however, are a different thing altogether. As the name implies, these vehicles utilize both electric batteries and traditional fuel to get around.
You still have to pay for gas, but the costs are a fraction of what you’d normally pay with a conventional gas-powered vehicle. Many of today’s hybrid cars can get around 900 kilometers without having to fill up. Better still, the cost of filling the tank is negligible when compared to other cars. They also don’t require any conventional charging, instead relying on technologies like regenerative braking to shore up battery power.
Saving on gas is a matter of common sense, with a few technical tricks thrown in to round out the package. The objective is to save a little bit here and there in order to kneecap your monthly gas costs, and reclaim more of your cash.
If you’re in the market for a vehicle that won’t induce panic at the pump, DriveAxis.ca would like to hear from you. Contact us today so that we can help you pick out the right car for your lifestyle, and your budget.