Pump up your Mileage

Make the most of your gas money with these fuel saving tips.

In these challenging economic times, it can be more important than ever to get more mileage out of your money. One place you can accomplish that is at the gas pump. And even though gas prices may be out of your control, there are some steps you can take to help reduce the amount you spend to fill your fuel tank.

  • Drive the speed limit. Sure, speeding may get you where you want to go faster, but it will end up costing you more in the long run by burning more fuel. Plus, when you drive the speed limit, you will never have to worry about getting an expensive speeding ticket.
  • Try using cruise control. By using this feature, you will maintain a constant speed, which actually helps you conserve gas.
  • Keep your car tuned up. Cars that do not operate smoothly consume more gas.
  • You should also keep your tires properly inflated. Be sure to keep your tires at their optimal pressure. Consult your owner’s manual to learn what your pressure should be, and be sure to check it frequently if your car does not have a signal to tell you when pressure is low.
  • Remove excess weight. Are you carrying around excess baggage in your trunk? Take out those golf clubs in back when you are not using them.
  • Avoid carrying things on the roof when it is not necessary. That kayak you are still carrying from last weekend’s camping trip is actually increasing your vehicle’s weight and aerodynamic drag, which can cut your mileage by as much as 5%.
  • Lay off the brakes (at least when you do not need them). Riding the brakes is another poor driving habit that can cost you valuable mileage.
  • Do not idle. Idling gets 0 mpg. Cars with larger engines typically waste even more gas while idling than cars with smaller engines.
  • Minimize your use of air conditioning. That cool air puts an extra load on the engine, thereby increasing fuel consumption.
  • Do not fill up on expensive gas. Wait for the price to go down before you fill up your tank. There is also no need to buy the highest priced gasoline. Most cars are built to run on regular unleaded. Check your owner’s manual or consult a mechanic.
  • Avoid traffic. Getting stuck in a traffic jam and stop-and-go driving can be the worst ways to waste gas. If possible, try to avoid traveling during rush hour.
  • Park in the shade. Hot cars evaporate gas. If it is a hot day, park in the shade and use your garage.
  • Roll up windows on highways. Rolling down windows creates a strong drag, particularly if you are driving fast.
  • Purchase a fuel-efficient vehicle. When buying a new vehicle, examine the vehicle’s rated fuel efficiency. Usually choosing a small vehicle with a manual transmission will provide you with great fuel economy.
  • Consider alternative options. Working at home a few days a week can lower your costs. Carpooling is another way to lower the costs of commuting.

Give these tips a spin to get your gas savings in gear. They may go a long way in helping you get your money out of the pump and back in your pocket!

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