Extend the Life of Your Car and Save Gas by Parking Smartly – Drive it Forever

Parking your car to extend the life of your car

You might thinking parking your car is an activity that doesn’t have much room for improvement.  Sure, you might realize that cruising up and down the isles at the supermarket looking for the closest spot isn’t real good for your car or your gas milage, but you may not have considered these tips about how to park your car:

  1. Park in your garage – Have a garage or carport ?  Parking there will save your car and your gas.  The main reason is that you won’t have to use your heater, gas-sucking air conditioner or gas-sucking defroster as much, but a secondary reason is that parking in the shade (see the next tip) can also be useful.  Also, parking in a garage is usually a good security measure (assuming that your garage is locked).
  2. Park in the shade – Save your car’s paint and interior from the damaging rays of the sun, keep your car cooler (less cooling needed), and also save your gas.  Parking in the shade saves gas because it decreases the amount of gasoline that evaporates from your tank.
  3. Use a windshield shade – Using a windshield shade when you park will keep your car cooler, which will require less air conditioning and could also reduce evaporation from your gas tank.  It will also save the interior of your car from the damaging rays of the sun.
  4. Park in a well-lit, visible area – If you are parking outdoors, make sure the area your car is parked in is well lit (such as right under a street lamp) and is visible.  The more people that can see your car, the less likely it is to be vandalized or stolen.
  5. Lock your doors – This may seem obvious, but many people do not take the time to lock their doors when they park.  Locking your doors can prevent your car from being stolen.  Thieves usually go for the easiest target, so if your car is unlocked they may prefer your car over another simply because it makes it a little easier (and more discrete) for them to continue the process of stealing your car.
  6. Park as quickly as possible – Find a spot that is the closest “obviously open” spot that you can find.  Don’t try and cruise the isles to find a close spot.  This will save gas and allow you to get that prime pull-through spot you need to save your car and your gas.
  7. Find a pull-through spot or reverse in – Parking in a pull-through spot will save wear and tear on your car, save you gas and make it less likely that you will get into an accident leaving the parking lot.  It saves you wear and tear and gas because you do not need to use reverse gear when you leave your parking spot.  Reversing out of your spot wears down your transmission and uses more gasoline.  If you can’t find a pull through, reverse into your spot because it will be better to use your reverse gear when your transmission and engine are warmed up and at top efficiency.  Both reversing and a pull-through will give you improved visibility when you leave your spot, which will reduce the chance of an accident.
  8. Avoid parallel parking – For perhaps obvious reasons, the time, gear shifting, tire grinding and danger of parallel parking should be avoided whenever possible.  Besides that, you often will end up feeding a parking meter when you parallel park.

If you truly want to save gas and “Drive it Forever”, follow these simple tips to keep more money in your pocket!

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(Photo: RCB)

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