Morning latte: A free shot of syrup with your frequent user card.
Lunch shopping trip: A facebook flash sale scores you 50 percent off that top you've been obsessing over.
Pau hana: Singing "Happy Birthday" to your bestie earns the table a free pupu with your happy hour-priced li hing margarita.
Gas station stop on the way home: Price-mess.
You usually have no problem taking the deal but lately the rising prices at pump have you gas-ping for air. You need some money-saving tips and not just the ones that are full of hot air. Here's a crash course in fuel economy from John Kelly, Lex Brodie's vice president of operations.
The Rumor: Fuel up early in the morning or after dark to get more gas for your dollar.
The Expert: Not true.
The theory is that if you fill your tank when it’s warm, the gas will contract as temperatures drop so you’ll end up with less. Kelly says actually fuel tanks are stored underground so temperatures don't fluctuate much at all. Fill up at your convenience.
The Rumor: Cruise control will give you better gas mileage.
The Expert: Not in Hawaii.
Kelly says one set speed is more efficient when you’re on a flat highway with no traffic , something we don’t usually see here. In the islands, he says drivers actually use more fuel by repeatedly turning the cruise control on and off. Instead, Kelly suggests easing your foot off the gas at the sight of brake or red lights to avoid sudden stops and starts.
The Rumor: Keep your tank at least half full so there isn’t enough room for the gas to evaporate.
The Experts: Never drive with less than a quarter tank of gas.
Several studies show very little gas is lost through evaporation. But Kelly says running on almost empty is risky for another reason – you could burn out your fuel pump which is a costly repair.
The Rumor: Overinflated tires can increase mileage.
The Expert: Not true and potentially dangerous.
The mythical reasoning is that less of the tire tread touches the road therefore there’s less resistance. In reality, Popular Mechanics found almost no difference between pumped up tires and those set at the recommended pressure. Kelly adds that overinflated tires could cause you to lose control in case of an emergency. Check the pressure at least every other week and make adjustments with an automatic gauge which you can find free at Lex Brodie's, McKinley Car Wash, and other locations.
Here are a few other money-saving tips.
Turn your air conditioner and radio off before shutting off the engine.
When you start you car, forcing it to power your AC and radio before it’s fully up to speed can take a toll on your engine and battery and eventually cause your AC compressor to fail. A dead battery and a broken AC are both costly repairs. So wait a few minutes after you're rolling to turn on everything.
Know your tires’ recommended air pressure.
Never use the number stamped on the tire because that's the maximum allowed. Instead, look just inside the driver’s side door or the gas compartment. Also, if you travel even just a few blocks to fill up, remember the heat will drive the pressure up. So add three additional pounds to the suggested number so it will be the correct amount once the tires cool.
Lex Brodie's has five locations on Oahu and four on the Big Island. For more information, visit www.lexbrodies.com.