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Gas Saving Tips & Suggestions

Gas Saving Tips & Suggestions

by Vincent Ciulla

We have all seen the price of gasoline shooting up to record levels around the country with no relief in sight. In some states it has already reached, and passed, the $3.00 and $4.00 a gallon mark. Reports of gas thefts from parked cars and fill and flies (people going to a gas station, filling up and driving off without paying) are increasing everyday.

The oil companies blame the federal government, the federal government blames the oil companies and the wholesalers blame everybody else. OPEC is crying poverty (I should be so poor). Charges of price gouging, talk of an emergency windfall tax on the oil companies and finger pointing abound.

What can we, as consumers, do about it? Unfortunately, not too much. We either pay or walk. But there is one thing we can do, and that is to squeeze every mile we can out of every gallon of gas we buy.

There are a number of things we can do to keep our vehicles running in top shape and get the best mileage we can. Other ways are by changing the way we drive.

  • One thing we can do to stretch our gallon of gas is to check our tire pressures. Low tire pressure will make the tires drag and use more gas. Look in your owners' manual and see what the recommended tire pressures are. Add two pounds to that number, but never exceed 35 psi. That will add about 1 mile per gallon. Check them every time you gas up. Think of it as adding an extra ½ gallon to your tank for free.

  • Keeping your engine well tuned is another good way to stretch your gas dollar. An engine that grinds for ten seconds before firing up wastes enough gas to take you two miles. Maybe it's time for a new set of spark plugs and a new air filter. Now is a good time to go get them. Also have a mechanic bump the timing a degree or two.

  • Look in the trunk of your car. Are those two bags of sand that you used for extra traction last winter still in there? Take them out! it's excess weight in the summer and excess weight uses gas. What ever you don't need in there, take out and lighten the load. It will come back as extra miles per tank full.

  • If you are a two car family, use the cars wisely. If one has to drive further to work, let that person use the car that gets the best milage. On weekends switch around depending on who's running the errands.

  • Don't drive across town just to save one or two cents a gallon. You'll wind up using more gas than you save. Unless you can save eight to ten cents a gallon, it's just not worth it. Keep an eye on prices as you drive around and if you see a lower price, take advantage of it.

  • If your car uses regular gas don't waste money on buying premium, if you don't have to. You won't get any better milage or performance and you'll just waste that extra ten or fifteen cents a gallon. Check your owners manual to see if your engine does need premium.

  • If you see three or four gas stations on a corner, check all the prices. They will be competing for your business and will generally have the lowest prices.

  • If possible, stagger your work hours to avoid rush hour traffic. Sitting in stop and go traffic is the biggest waste of fuel there is. Try leaving home for work a little earlier. You'll avoid some traffic and impress your boss.

  • Don't drive more car than you have to. Do you really need to drive that big gas sucking SUV? They are all right if you need to move the kids soccor team, but driving it to work is a waste. Consider a more fuel efficient vehicle for commuting.

  • Cut down on the use of the air conditioning. A/C takes about 8 horsepower to run and those horses eat gas. Our forefathers crossed a whole country without A/C, I think we can cross town without it. On a long trip on the open highway, it is better to use the A/C than to drive with the windows open. The extra drag of open windows on a vehicle can eat up more fuel than the A/C will.

  • Avoid jackrabbit starts, start off smooth and accelerate easy to your cruising speed and maintain it. Use your cruise control if you have it to maintain a steady speed. Slow down a bit when you drive, - the faster you go, the more fuel you use. When you go somewhere, leave 10 or 15 minutes earlier so you can go easy and save some fuel. Who knows, you might even notice things you never saw before when you were passing by at the higher speed.

Additional Information provided courtesy of and Warranty Direct
© 2000-2007 Vincent T. Ciulla

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