Effective Fuel Saving Tips

Do you cringe every time you pull into the gas station? While there’s not much you can do to control prices at the pump, there are some steps you can take to make your vehicle as fuel efficient as possible.

In fact, you could actually reduce the amount of gas you use by as much as 25 percent just by following these effective fuel-saving tips:

Plan ahead

Leave plenty of time to get from Point A to Point B. When you speed, your gas mileage will most likely start to dip at 50 mph+. That translates into an extra 25 cents for a gallon of gas. Taking your time is smarter, safer and could help you avoid that dreaded speeding ticket, not to mention rising insurance costs.

Say “no” to stop-and-go driving

This kind of driving is a good way to empty your wallet quickly, since it gobbles up to 20 percent more fuel and wreaks havoc on your tires and brakes. Instead of speeding up and then slamming on the breaks, coast toward a stop sign or red light.

Maintain your vehicle

Check your owner’s manual or maintenance log book to find out how often you need to bring in your vehicle for service and make appointments as needed. Why? Rotating and replacing tires, for example, and keeping them properly inflated helps prevent premature wear, keeping you safer on the road and saving you money at the gas pump. Invest in a tire pressure gauge and check them a few times a year. Your owner’s manual has information on both pressure and rotation periods. And did you know that clogged air filters can reduce gas mileage in older cars with carbureted engines by as much as 14 percent?  In newer cars, clogged filters can hamper your acceleration time. Keep in mind, if you drive in overly dusty or polluted areas, you may have to change your filter more often than the schedule calls for.

Check the gas cap

If you don’t tighten up the gas cap to the second click, your fuel can literally go up in thin air.

Get rid of the clutter

Is your trunk overflowing with junk? Is the bed of your pickup packed with sports equipment or tools you rarely use? It’s time to clean up! De-cluttering the inside of your vehicle helps lighten the load and save you a good chunk of change at the gas pump.

Use cruise control

By using cruise control on long stretches of flat highway, you can help your car maintain a steady speed and, in turn, save gas.

Go hybrid

Isn’t it time you considered purchasing a hybrid vehicle or electric car? Hybrids can really stretch your per-gallon mileage. Take the Toyota Prius for instance which delivers an EPA-estimated 50 combined mpg rating. That really adds up with the convenience and cost savings of fewer fill ups.

Don’t overspend on gas

Don’t reach for the higher octane if your car doesn’t require it. Premium, high-octane fuels aren’t always the best choice for every car. Consulting your owner’s manual to see what kind of gas your vehicle requires can save you a lot of money. Choose whatever octane the engine is rated for –otherwise it’s just money down the drain.

No matter how out of control gas prices get, taking these simple steps can help put you back in the driver’s seat when it comes to getting more bang for your buck. From safer, slower, steadier driving, to scheduled maintenance and eco-friendly vehicles—it’s easy to get the best fuel mileage for your hard-earned dollar.

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