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Owning a car is a dream for many people. Young urban professionals, specially Pinoys, consider this as one of their top priorities. I am reminded of a friend who spent nearly two years being so frugal just to be able to afford a downpayment. He worked hard and never (and I really meant never) went out to spend on weekends. His efforts were rewarded recently when his loan application was approved and he was able to drive home his dream car.

Everything was well and good until he realized how expensive gasoline is these days. When he paid the downpayment to the car sales agent, he thought his frugal lifestyle is over and can now afford bar hopping on weekends and hanging out in Starbucks. He was obviously wrong. He suddenly found himself going back to his thrifty habits and a little less excited about driving around the city.

So to my buddy, here are some facts and practical tips to help you lower your fuel costs.

1. Warming up your

engine takes only about 45 seconds to a minute.

2. Turn off your engine if you’re going to be idle for more than two minutes.

3. Eliminate jack-rabbit starts; accelerate slowly when starting from a dead stop. Keep a steady speed when driving.

4. Buy gasoline during the coolest time of day because it’s when gasoline is densest and therefore, you get more fuel concentration per volume.

5. Drive at around 80 kph where gas efficiency is best compared to higher speeds.

6. Keep windows closed to avoid air drag specially when driving at highway speeds.

7. When choosing between routes, select the one which is shorter, with less rough road and more straight paths.

8. Tune-up your car regularly.

9. Remove excess weight from the trunk and inside your car. Unless necessary, don’t fill up to a full tank.

10. Check tire air pressures regularly.

11. Distribute passenger weight evenly throughout the car.

12. Carpool or just take the bus once in a while.

Category: Personal Finance

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