Friday, May 4, 2012

Gas-Saving Tips

Gas prices have gone down some in the past couple of weeks, and some forecasts say they won't rise sharply again for quite some time.
But you never know.
And even at this price, gasoline ain't exactly cheap.
So here are a few tips to help you save at the pump.

1. Not so fast

Although each vehicle reaches its optimal fuel economy at different speeds, gas mileage usually drops dramatically at speeds above 60 mph. As a general rule, every 5 mph you drive above 60 mph is like paying an extra 30 cents per gallon of gas.

2. Take it easy

Avoid jack-rabbit starts and sudden stops, which can lower your gas mileage by 33 percent on the highway and by 5 percent around town.

3. Get rid of the dead weight

Try not to keep unnecessary items in your car, especially heavy ones. Each 100 pounds of extra weight can reduce fuel efficiency by up to 2 percent.

4. Shop around

Avoid gas stations in affluent areas and near major freeway exits. In major metropolitan areas, outlying suburbs tend to have the lowest gas prices, according to If you're not in a hurry when traveling, drive a few blocks from the freeway exit to find lower gas prices. Also, avoid service stations with on-site auto repair shops, which often charge more for gas. Download the app on your mobile device to locate gas stations near you and see their current gas prices. If you don't see a download for your device, just go to, which can be used from any mobile device.

5. Find alternative pumps

Check out wholesale clubs, grocery stores or department stores with gas stations onsite. These businesses often sell gas at discounted prices and may offer credit for in-store purchases when you fill up with gas.

6. Keep the hoopdie hoppin'

While traditional tune ups are becoming a thing of the past for newer vehicles, older cars with worn spark plugs, low transmission fluid and dragging brakes can suck your gas tank dry. Check your owners manual for recommended maintenance schedules and get regular engine checkups. Fixing a car that is noticeably out of tune can improve its gas mileage by an average of 4 percent. Fixing a serious maintenance problem, such as a faulty oxygen sensor, can improve your mileage by as much as 40 percent.

7. Don't be an American idle

For every hour a car idles, between a quarter-gallon to a half-gallon of fuel is consumed. Restarting your vehicle only takes a few seconds’ worth of fuel. However, restarting your car excessively can cause starter wear.

8. Treat the tires right

Keep your tires properly inflated and make sure you have them aligned periodically. You can improve your gas mileage by around 3.3 percent by keeping your tires inflated to the proper pressure. Plus, properly inflated tires are safer and last longer.

9. Toil over your oil

All oils aren’t created equal. That's especially true when it comes to engine oil. Using only the manufacturer's recommended grade of motor oil cited in your owners manual can improve your fuel efficiency by 1percent to 2 pecent.

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