Monday, May 19, 2008

Getting the Most Out of $4.00 Gas

fuel save money tips With gasoline reaching the $4.00 per gallon mark in most of the country, most drivers are looking for ways to save their hard-earned money.

The Department of Energy has several tips for getting the most out of your money. In addition, the USDA just released this audio report on getting the most out of your fuel.

Here are some of the key tips for saving money:

Drive More Efficiently
  • Stay within posted speed limits. Gas mileage decreases rapidly at speeds above 60 miles per hour.
  • Stop aggressive driving. You can improve your gas mileage up to five percent around town if you avoid “jackrabbit” starts and stops by anticipating traffic conditions and driving gently.
  • Avoid unnecessary idling. It wastes fuel, costs you money, and pollutes the air. Turn off the engine if you anticipate a wait.
  • Combine errands. Several short trips taken from a cold start can use twice as much fuel as one trip covering the same distance when the engine is warm.
  • Use overdrive gears and cruise control when appropriate. They improve the fuel economy of your car when you’re driving on a highway.
  • Remove excess weight from the trunk. An extra 100 pounds in the trunk can reduce a typical car’s fuel economy by up to two percent.
  • Avoid packing items on top of your car. A loaded roof rack or carrier creates wind resistance and can decrease fuel economy by five percent.
Maintain Your Car
  • Keep your engine tuned. Tuning your engine according to your owner’s manual can increase gas mileage by an average of four percent. Increases vary depending on a car’s condition.
  • Keep your tires properly inflated and aligned. It can increase gas mileage up to three percent.
  • Change your oil. According to the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) and Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), you can improve your gas mileage by using the manufacturer’s recommended grade of motor oil. Motor oil that says “Energy Conserving” on the performance symbol of the American Petroleum Institute contains friction-reducing additives that can improve fuel economy.
  • Check and replace air filters regularly. Replacing clogged filters can increase gas mileage up to ten percent.

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