10 Gas Apps To Save Your Gas This Summer

 

It’s summertime, and that means road trips and summer vacations. It also means gas prices to be considered as you hit the long road. How do you know you are getting the best mile per gallon in your car? Thankfully Android, iPhone, and Windows 10 Phones have some great gas apps!

Below is a list of the best of the best. Download one of them and start tracking your gas. You may be surprised at what you find out!

Android:

Pure Gas – Pure Gas is a simple front-end app for the popular website pure-gas.org. You get a list of 100 ethanol-free gas stations sorted nearest to furthest. Just click on the one you like, and get driving directions!

MapQuest Gas Prices – With MapQuest Gas Prices you can:

  • Find the cheapest gas price in your area
  • Prices frequently updated
  • Sort gas stations based on lowest price or distance from you
  • Add stations as Favorites, and check which one has the lowest price in an instant!
  • Supports many fuel types: Regular, Mid-Grade, Premium, Diesel, and even E-85
  • Launch the MapQuest Navigation app to get voice-guided directions to a station

Fuel Calculator – This app will help you to calculate:

  • fuel consumption of your car;
  • fuel cost and fuel volume, necessary for trip;
  • distance, which you can drive after refueling.

iPhone:

Gas Buddy – With Gas Buddy, users can locate gas stations nearby and view current prices. The app is updated by the user community and can be sorted by price, distance, or current location.

Car Care – Recommended by the Times, Car Care calculates fuel economy for as many automobiles as you want and even graphs their data. Detailed statistics give users a glimpse of how the different types of fuel perform in their vehicles, while notifying them of important maintenance actions that need to be taken.

iGasUp – provides the 10 cheapest gas stations closest to your current location and directions for how to get there. The app continuously updates its pricing data on 110,000 gas stations through real-time credit card transactions.

AAA TripTik Mobile – provides voice guidance with the latest gas prices, maps, directions, and other attractions, such as nearby events, restaurants, and hotels. AAA members can view office locations, AAA auto repair locations, and more

Windows 10

MPG Tracker – Easy to use, allowing quick data entry, yet provide plenty of statistics about your vehicle’s fuel consumption. The history view shows all your fill-up records, sorted by most recent date, and allows you to edit all entries. There is also multiple graphs that nicely show you how your MPG progresses and gas price changes over time.

My Car – My Car is the best application in Store for managing all information related to your car. Track your vehicle’s costs, services and fuel efficiency, add notes and reminders, add photos to your vehicle album etc. View and analyze interesting statistics and charts related to your vehicle. Pin vehicles to start (Live Tile). Supports multiple vehicles and OneDrive backup to keep your data safe.

 

How To Stay Sane When Traveling With Teens

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You would think that when your kids get to be around 13 or 14 road trips would be so much better. They can feed themselves, tell you when they have to go to the bathroom, read, and occupy themselves. They should be used to sitting in the car and deal with it.

You would think..but you would be wrong. They get bored like anyone and sometimes all that teenage angst just comes out. It is enough to drive you crazy. BUT I have tips to help you keep your teens sane and occupied!

DVD Player

If you don’t have a DVD player in your car bring a portable, complete with headphones. Bring a lot of movies because you never know what they may want to watch. Just because they love Star Wars right now, doesn’t mean they will when you leave.

iTunes or Google Play Gift Card

A great way to keep your teen occupied is with new music or apps for their phone. Something new always guarantees at least 2 hours of peace.

Books

Books are a great way to pass the time. If you have a book lover surprise them with some new titles or with a gift card to Amazon so they can buy their own.

Handheld Game System

When all else fails whip out the handheld game system with some teen-friendly games. They will have fun and you will too because then you can read your own book you brought!

Traveling with teens is totally different than traveling with kids but with a little planning it can be a great experience!

 

Simple Car Care Tips

A car is an expensive investment, so knowing how to keep your vehicle in tip-top shape can save you tons of money. Overall, the cost of owning a car is a lot higher than many might think – there is the cost of car insurance, taxes, interest on the car loan, repairs, fuel costs, and the cost of the vehicle itself. By implementing all or some of these car care tips, you can begin to save a significant amount of time and money.

Just a little time spent on research can save you future repairs and tons of money. You don’t need to be mechanically savvy to detect common vehicle problems. You just need to be able to use your sense of smell and sight.

Take a Look Around

Are there stains under your vehicle? Do you see drips? They may not be a problem but if you see wet spots, it can be a symptom of something far more serious. What color is the liquid you are seeing? Is it blue, orange, yellowish green? Then it could indicate a radiator leak, damage from an overheated engine, or a water pump that needs repairs. Leaks such as these should be addressed quickly.

Black oily fluid or dark brown could indicate an oil leak on the engine. A bad gasket or seal can cause this type of leak. These types of repairs can quickly run into a lot of money so it’s a good idea to take your vehicle to a mechanic you trust.

A red oily spot could indicate power steering fluid leak or transmission leak. Sometimes you will see clear liquid, which is usually just condensation and nothing to worry about. If you see light smoke coming from your wheel while you are driving it could mean you have a brake that’s stuck and you should pull over. Any type of smoke means you need to see a mechanic regarding a vehicle repair.

Put Your Nose to Work Don’t be afraid to sniff around and see if you can detect a problem with your vehicle. If you smell burned toast it may be burning insulation or an electrical short. Don’t risk driving it. If you have a rotten egg smell it’s likely the catalytic converter and it will need to be repaired.

A thick sharp odor is often a symptom of burning oil. Have a look under the car to see if you can spot a leak. You may also see a bluish smoke coming from your vehicle’s tailpipe – you need to have this looked at as soon as possible.

If you smell gas after your vehicle fails to start the engine may have become flooded. Wait a few minutes and try again. If you continue to notice a gas odor you may have a leak somewhere in your fuel system, which can be dangerous, so have your vehicle taken to a mechanic as soon as possible. These simple tips will help to alert you of a potential problem with your vehicle that should be addressed.

Spring Has Sprung! Take Care of Your Car

Spring has sprung. If you thought winter was hard on you, it’s just as hard on your car. All that salt and dirt off the roads can damage your vehicle’s body, while frigid temperatures make your engine work overtime. Time to dust off your ride and get it ready for the new road trip season.

Wash & Wax

Winter dirt can do a lot of damage to your car. Road sand is abrasive while salt can rot metal and damage electrical components. As soon as the weather turns nice, you’re probably itching to wash your car. Make sure to rise the underside and wheel wells, as that’s where a lot of the muck hides. A coat of wax will help bead off rain, and protect your car’s finish from whatever summer has to throw at it.

Change the tires

Once the risk of snow and freezing temperature subsides, you’ll want to get the snows off your car. Winter tires might grip the road better, but reduce fuel economy and performance on dry pavement. Summer tires work the best, but all-seasons provides a good middle ground from spring until fall.

Replace your wipers

Winter ice and snow quickly wears out windshield wipers. Replace them after the season to ensure visibility in rain. You might also want to apply a water repellent to your windows for even better performance.

Check your fluids

Every driver knows you have to change your oil, but when was the last time you checked the other fluids?

Automatic transmission and brake fluid should be changed every 50,000 to 100,000km, or whatever interval is recommended by the manufacturer. There’s a small dipstick for transmission fluid, usually behind the engine. It should be bright pink. Brake fluid is usually a clear beige color. If they’re clouded or dirty, it’s probably a good time to have them changed in order to ensure good performance and long life.

Also, don’t forget to check your coolant levels. Overheating is a common cause of breakdowns and vehicle fires. Especially in the hot summer weather. Remember to never open your radiator when the car is hot.

Replace a dirty air filter 

When was the last time you replaced your engine air filter? Dusty spring and summer roads can clog it and reduce performance. It’s a job that’s fairly easy to do yourself on most vehicles, and will ensure long engine life.

Check your vehicle’s HVAC 

Your car’s heating and cooling system works overtime in extreme weather. Get it tuned up so you’re not roasting on those long trips to the cottage.

Fire up your AC to make sure the compressor is working, and it’s blowing cold air. If not, you may need to top up the refrigerant. While there are home kits, this is a job best left to professionals due to the high pressures involved.

You should also check your cabin air filter. This is usually hidden behind the glove box and can be replaced by yourself. If it’s black or wet, get a new one. Otherwise just shake out the leaves.

Keeping your car well maintained this spring will ensure plenty of happy road trips during over the long, hot summer.

Keep The Kids Entertained On The Road

Remember the awe and wonder you felt as a kid? When a simple game of “I spy” could keep you joyously occupied for hours? Road games are a great way to keep children of all ages entertained during long and boring road trips. In addition to preventing road fatigue, they make the experience more pleasant for everyone–especially mom and dad. Here are 10 simple and fun games anyone can enjoy.

One: Bottled Treasure
Fill a two-liter bottle about 3/4 full with rice or birdseed. Add a variety of small household objects like paperclips, buttons, marbles and toy soldiers. Make a list of everything you hid and seal the container. Have your kids shake the bottle and hunt for all the treasures you buried.

Two: A Map Mission
Give your children a map and have them mark it up to chart your journey. As you pass different towns and landmarks, help the kids note them on their maps. Fun for the kids and also educational, this game is a win-win and one that the whole family can get involved in.

Three: Counting Cars
Come up with fun, age-appropriate challenges. For example, be the first to find five green cars or ten semi trucks. Or keep count of how many different types of cars you can spot in an hour. Or how often you see a Toyota pass by. This simple game keeps kids occupied and teaches them how to stay alert.

Four: License Lookout
Before you hit the road, ask everyone how many different state license plates they think they’ll see. Write down their guesses. Keep a running list of the ones spotted along the way and fill time in between plates by talking about the 50 states, what their capitals are and what they’re famous for.

Five: Games Galore
Simple card games can keep children occupied and entertained for a long time. Games like Go Fish, Solitaire, Uno or even just practicing shuffling can be a fun way to pass the time. In addition, most favorite board games come in magnetic versions that are designed for travel and are perfect for road trips.