Easy Ways to Save Gas

Scott Hollis
September/October 2005
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With gas prices well above $2 and quickly on the rise, getting the most bang for your buck at the fuel pump is more important than ever. Whether you've just bought a gas-thrifty car or are trying to improve your current vehicle's fuel economy, there are a number of easy measures you can take to maximize your car's miles per gallon (while minimizing its impact on the planet).

  • Aggressive driving such as speeding, rapid acceleration and hard braking can lower your gas mileage by up to 33 percent at highway speeds and by 5 percent at city speeds.

  • Wind speeds more than 60 mph reduces a car's fuel efficiency ? the faster you travel, the more gas you burn. More than 50 percent of the energy required to move a vehicle is spent overcoming wind drag. A loaded roof rack can decrease fuel economy by up to 5 percent.

  • Turn off the air conditioning, or keep it on a low setting. It can decrease fuel economy from 5 percent to 25 percent when set on 'high.'

  • Keep your tires properly inflated. On average, tires lose about 1 pound per square inch (psi) per month, and 1 psi for every 10-degree drop in temperature. For every 3 pounds below recommended pressure, fuel economy is reduced by about 1 percent.

  • Take your vehicle in for regular tune-ups. A clean air filter can add up to 10 percent to your car's fuel efficiency.

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