Five Tips on How to Save Gas


Go easy on your wallet, and the environment, with these gas saving tips

With skyrocketing gas prices, it's easy to wonder if driving will soon become a luxury.  If you're like millions of Americans feeling pain at the pump, take these gas saving tips along for the ride.  Your wallet, and the environment, will thank you for it.

Tip 1:  Go easy on the brakes

Sure, it takes energy to accelerate your car, but it takes a whole lot of energy to stop it too.  As a result, you burn more gasoline if you brake hard.  If you can help it, anticipate your stops, coast as long as you can and gently apply pressure to the brakes when stopping.  Bottom line, don't slam the brakes — ease into a stop for maximum fuel efficiency and save money by consuming less gasoline. 

Tip 2:  Obey the speed limit

If you want to increase your car's gas mileage, obey the speed limit.  Accelerating aggressively and driving at high rates of speed not only waste gas, they're dangerous driving behaviors.  Give yourself a few extra minutes to arrive on time versus racing to your destination.  When driving long distances in flowing traffic, use cruise control to consistently regulate your speed.  You'll visit the pump less often, and you'll spend less money too.

Tip 3:  Avoid heavy loads

You might not know it, but you can increase your fuel economy and save gas simply by ridding your car of extra weight.  Additional weight creates 'drag' on a car that, in turn, increases fuel consumption. While it's important to remove unnecessary cargo from the inside of your car, it's important to remove unnecessary cargo on the outside too.  When not in use, unloading items such as luggage racks and bike racks not only improves your car's aerodynamics, it lightens your load — both of which boost fuel economy.

Tip 4:  Properly inflate your tires

By ensuring your tires are properly inflated, you can improve your gas mileage by 10 percent or more in some cases.  The owner's manual for your car should provide recommended tire pressure.  Use this information to monitor your tires on a monthly basis and be sure to check the tires with a digital pressure gauge when they're cold.  Digital pressure gauges tend to provide more accurate readings.

Tip 5:  Don't idle

Sitting stationary with the car idling wastes gas, that's why it's important to turn off your car if you're idling for long periods of time.  As a general rule, shut down your car if you idle for longer than 30 seconds, such as when you're sitting at a drive-thru or an ATM.  Try to avoid stop-and-go traffic too, like congested freeways during rush hour.  By timing your commute when roadways are clear, you improve your car's fuel economy by avoiding constant braking and idling.

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