The Actual Cost of Filling Up Your Tank


For anyone who drives a vehicle every day, visiting the gas station to fill up is almost second nature. Going up to the pump, swiping your card or paying the cashier, inserting the nozzle, and squeezing the trigger is so commonplace to us that most of us don’t even bother to look at how much we spent that day. In fact, we definitely don’t take the time to see how much we’ve spent over the course of a month, much less a whole year.

In a recent post on the Quicken Loans Zing Blog, author Anthony Fontana took a look at how much we’re actually spending at the gas pump, breaking it down by cars, trucks and motorcycles. In the post, Fontana calculates how much an average person spends for each type of vehicle based on an estimated price of $3.85 per gallon.

For example, someone driving a vehicle with a 15-gallon tank is spending $57.75 every time they fill up. If that person has a commute that forces them to fill up once per week, then he or she is spending nearly $3,000 per year at the gas station – not including snacks, of course. Even more revealing was the annual fuel costs for a 25-gallon tank truck – over $5,000.

Obviously, these are just a couple of examples with specific parameters and each person or family’s fuel cost will be different due to various factors – vehicle size, vehicle fuel rating, commute distance and the current price of gasoline, among others.

To read the entire post from Fontana, including the estimated annual fuel cost of driving a motorcycle, check it out at the Quicken Loans Zing! blog:

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Gas Mileage Tips From Penske Automotive Group


Currently, gas prices at the pumps are increasing daily. Motorists can expect gasoline prices to drift even higher as we move into summer.

At Penske Automotive Group we would like to give you some fuel-efficient tips. Penske’s gas mileage tips can help you reduce the amount of gas you use. If you are already following these tips, you are probably getting the best gas mileage your car can deliver.

1. Drive More Efficiently

-Drive Sensibly. Aggressive driving (speeding, rapid acceleration and braking) wastes gas. It can lower your gas mileage by 33 percent at highway speeds and by 5 percent around town. Sensible driving is also safer for you and others, so you may save more than gas money.
-Observe the Speed Limit. While each vehicle reaches its optimal fuel economy at a different speed (or range of speeds), gas mileage usually decreases rapidly at speeds above 60 mph. Observing the speed limit is also safer.
-Remove Excess Weight. Avoid keeping unnecessary items in your vehicle, especially heavy ones. An extra 100 pounds in your vehicle could reduce your MPG by up to 2 percent. The reduction is based on the percentage of extra weight relative to the vehicle’s weight and affects smaller vehicles more than larger ones.
-Avoid Excessive Idling. Idling can use a quarter to a half gallon of fuel per hour, depending on engine size and air conditioner (AC) use. Turn off your engine when your vehicle is parked. It only takes a few seconds worth of fuel to restart your vehicle. Turning your engine on and off excessively, however, may increase starter wear.
-Use Cruise Control. Using cruise control on the highway helps you maintain a constant speed and, in most cases, will save gas.
-Use Overdrive Gears. When you use overdrive gearing, your car’s engine speed goes down. This saves gas and reduces engine wear.

2. Keep Tour Car In Shape

-Keep Your Engine Properly Tuned. Fixing a car that is noticeably out of tune or has failed an emissions test can improve its gas mileage by an average of 4 percent, though results vary based on the kind of repair and how well it is done. If you need help with this stop by your neighborhood Penske dealership’s Parts and Service Center.
-Keep Tires Properly Inflated. You can improve your gas mileage by up to 3.3 percent by keeping your tires inflated to the proper pressure. The proper tire pressure for your vehicle is usually found on a sticker in the driver’s side door jamb or the glove box and in your owner’s manual.
-Use the Recommended Grade of Motor Oil. You can improve your gas mileage by 1–2 percent by using the manufacturer’s recommended grade of motor oil.

3. Planning and Combining Trips

-Combining errands into one trip saves you time and money. Several short trips taken from a cold start can use twice as much fuel as a longer multipurpose trip covering the same distance when the engine is warm.
-Commuting. There are lots of options available. Stagger your work hours to avoid peak rush hours. Consider telecommuting (working from home) if your employer permits it. Take advantage of carpools and ride-share programs. Consider using public transit if it is available and convenient for you.
-Traveling. When you hit the road for this spring and summer’s road trip, use a roof rack or carrier which provides additional cargo space and may allow you to meet your needs with a smaller car. However, be careful. A loaded roof rack can decrease your fuel economy by 5 percent.  Try to avoid carrying unneeded items, especially heavy ones. An extra 100 lbs in the trunk reduces a typical car’s fuel economy by 1-2 percent.

Try out this neat tool as well. It will tell you where the cheapest gas is in your area. Happy Driving from Penske Automotive Group!

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Hypermilers Increase Fuel Efficiency, Save Money on Gas

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How much gas can you save? 

In this tough economy, that question has become a challenge many are eager to attempt.  People are looking to save as much as they possibly can on gas. Some even resort to extreme measures, and manage to increase their fuel efficiency to well beyond the listed EPA estimates.  You may have already heard of them – they’re called “hypermilers.”

Hypermilers have graced plenty of headlines in the past few years.  The word was even added to the New Oxford American Dictionary in 2008, and was chosen as “best new word of the year.”  Unfortunately for hypermilers, some headlines were not as positive.  The technique came under fire for unsafe practices, eventually resulting in the creation of the Hypermiling Safety Foundation in 2008 to improve the image of hypermilers who use safe techniques to save money on gas.


Some of the techniques that have attracted media attention are dangerous practices like drafting and coasting.  Drafting involves tailgating the vehicle in front in order to decrease wind resistance.  Athletes use this practice in bicycling, car racing, speed skating, and even running.  Drivers will also “coast” through stop signs.  Obviously these practices are very dangerous, and illegal in many states.

Some hypermilers even compete at fuel economy competitions and set world records.  For example, at the Maximum Fuel Economy Contest in Elkhart, Indiana, a driver set a record for the Honda Insight by getting 213mpg.  To achieve such impressive fuel efficiency, however, drivers often use dangerous techniques that could not be implemented in real world driving situations.

The Hypermiling Safety Foundation works to promote safe hypermiling techniques.  Such techniques include accelerating slowly, braking gently, and maintaining the speed limit.  Higher speeds can result in greater drag, and you actually waste more gas.  According to CleanMPG, drivers can improve their fuel economy by 10% by driving 55mph instead of 65mph.

Other safe ways to increase fuel economy include reducing your cargo, avoiding idling, checking your tire pressure and following your car’s maintenance guidelines.  Hypermilers will also carefully watch traffic ahead, plan their route carefully, and avoid congestion.  They may also park their car so they can roll forward out of the spot, instead of backing out.

If you are looking to emulate hypermilers, we at PenskeAutomotive strongly urge you to follow safe driving practices.  Be aware of state laws, never break the law or put yourself and others in danger.  Obey stop signs and traffic rules.  Paying for gas might be expensive, but paying for an accident will cost you much more.  Your life is priceless – saving a few cents is never worth your life.  Stay safe!

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How to Save the Most on Gas

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Since September, we’ve seen a steady decline in gas prices, but apparently they’re not falling fast enough.  Falling gas prices are typical in fall.  Compared to this time last year, the national average price of gas is about $0.70 more per gallon.  In Fall 2010, the average cost of gas was $2.71; this year, it’s 3.41.

While gas prices should continue to decrease over the next week, drivers will undoubtedly still be looking for ways to save money on gas.  Overall, drivers can save money by practicing safer driving and following their car maintenance guidelines.

Here are some tips to help you increase fuel efficiency:


Don’t Idle

While your car does use a little bit of gas to turn on, in general, if you are stopped for more than a minute, you’ll use more gas standing than you would use if you turned your car off and back on.  So if you are picking up your kids from school or waiting with them at the bus stop for longer than a minute, turn off the car and save gas.


Keep Your Tires Inflated

Properly inflated tires will reduce friction between the tire and the road, allowing you to get better gas mileage.  Make sure you fill up to the recommended tire pressure, and then continue to check your pressure with a tire gauge every month.


Follow Maintenance Guidelines

Your car was built to work a certain way, and if you skip getting your vehicle serviced, you might run into more problems than just poor fuel efficiency.  Check your driver’s manual to see when you need to change your oil, filter, etc.


Compare Gas Prices

…but don’t go crazy.  Look for the cheapest gas prices in the area.  However, if you have to drive ridiculously out of the way just to save a couple more cents per gallon, then you’ll probably waste more gas than you end up saving.


The Most Important Tip: Drive Safely

Tailgating is not only dangerous, but it consumes more fuel.  Every time the car accelerates, it uses more gas.  So when you have to slam on the brakes suddenly, then accelerate suddenly, you’re using more gas than you need to use.


Instead, keep a safer following distance. That way, when traffic ahead slows down or stops, you can ease off the gas and, if necessary, brake gently. Once you have reached the speed limit, the car does not use as much fuel to keep going, since inertia will carry it forward.  When you let the car slow down naturally, you won’t waste all that gas you used to accelerate in the first place.  Using cruise control can help you maintain your speed.



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