Fuel Cost Calculator

Calculator to estimate the fuel cost of a trip. This calculator takes many different types of units.

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RelatedGas Mileage Calculator | Mileage Calculator

Tips to save fuel cost:

The price of gas may go up or down, but it's always a major expense for anyone who drives a car. The average American consumer spends about $3,000 per year for gas, according to the American Automobile Association. Driving a smaller car makes a great difference – the cost per mile is about half for a small sedan than for a large SUV.

Similarly, drive with a less powerful engine than you need. Don't pay for an eight-cylinder engine when four cylinders will work just fine. Unless you're hauling heavy loads on a routine basis, the extra cost of a bigger engine results in more money spent on gasoline.

Tune the Engine

A properly tuned engine maximizes power and can greatly enhance fuel efficiency. But tuning the car engine is often done to increase horsepower – that's not the way to save on fuel. Make sure the tuner gets the message.

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 – this amount will vary depending on the nature of the repair.

Fixing a serious maintenance problem, such as a faulty oxygen sensor, can improve your mileage by as much as 40 percent.

Placing ornaments and ground effects, aerodynamics kits, and air foils, such as deck-lid spoilers may make you feel good, but they also increase the car's drag and make it require more fuel. Such accessories offer no real handling enhancements, although they may look nice on your car. Also, place signs or cargo on the roof so that the object angles forward. This will reduce the frontal area of the object, and it will cause less drag, and cause you to use less fuel.

Adjust Your Tires

Make sure the tires are inflated to the right levels. Properly inflated tires can reduce fuel consumption by up to 3 percent. Your tires also lose about 1 PSI per month, and when the tires are cold (e.g., in the winter), their pressure will decrease due to the thermal contraction of the air. It is recommended to check tires at least monthly, preferably weekly. Having properly inflated tires will also help you avoid uneven wear on the tread.

Gas stations don't always have accurate equipment for this purpose. Sometimes gas stations use automatic air compressors that stop at a pre-determined level. To make sure you inflate to the right level, double-check pressure with your own gauge.

Recommended inflation pressures are for cold tires; put about 3 PSI more in if the tires have been driven on awhile. Inflate to the pressure recommended by the car manufacturer, not to the level stamped on the tire.

Use the Correct Motor Oil

Gas mileage will improve by 1 percent to 2 percent if you use the manufacturer's recommended grade of motor oil. For example, using 10W-30 motor oil in an engine designed to use 5W-30 can reduce your gas mileage by a considerable amount. Using 5W-30 in an engine designed for 5W-20 can lower your gas mileage by 1 percent to 2 percent. Also, look for motor oil that says "Energy Conserving" on the API performance symbol to be sure it contains friction-reducing additives.

Plan Your Route Carefully

There is no more obvious way to save gas than to drive a shorter distance.

Plan your route carefully. With today's GPS route planners, it's easy to calculate a straight route with the fewest stops and diversions. It is also possible to judge which route will have the least traffic. Take highways instead of local routes or city streets when possible – the steady speed maximizes fuel efficiency.

Maintain a log over time of how much gas you use with respect to the distances you travel. You can check the miles you go using the main odometer, and how much gas you put in from the gas pump, including fractions. The best tool for this purpose is a spreadsheet. It will keep you focused, and ensure the highest level of accuracy. Otherwise you will never know for sure if you're saving fuel or wasting fuel. There is always danger of seeing errors from gas pumps that stop pumping at different points, or fractions of miles being dropped off your odometer when you reset it.

When driving in a city, try to park in a central location, and then walk from one appointment to another, or take public transportation. Ragged stop-and-go city driving is terrible for your gas mileage. This also saves the high level of gas used in parking and pulling out in a parking lot.