Two Dozen And One Fuel-Saving Tips

The fuel crisis of the 1970s prompted the publication of these 25 fuel-saving tips. Some make reference to outmoded engine technologies, but many are still relevant today.

| January/February 1980

With today's gasoline crisis in mind, MOTHER EARTH NEWS' editors have compiled a list of 25 of what we feel are probably the simplest—yet most effective—ways of conserving fuel while you travel. The two dozen and one fuel-saving tips that follow—if properly observed—can only save you driving dollars, since they're designed to modify your motoring habits (rather than suggest you buy expensive add-on equipment) to increase your miles-per-gallon figure.

Of course, our listing is far from all-inclusive ... but it does represent a fair sampling of economy driving techniques that should get you farther down the road on a given amount of fuel, no matter what kind of auto you own.

Press the accelerator down slowly when you're starting off from a dead stop, and try to avoid pushing the pedal more than 1/4 of its full travel whenever possible. This practice will allow the carburetor to operate at its peak fuel efficiency ... because it avoids bringing the fuel mixer's gasoline-gulping power valve into play.

Keep your windows closed when you drive, especially when you're traveling at highway speeds. Air drag—caused by open windows—can reduce mileage by as much as 10%.

Inflate tires to their maximum recommended limit. The slightly softer ride gained by keeping those rubber "shoes" cushiony can play havoc with gasoline mileage. Also, if you're in the market for new tires, consider a radial-ply design—or at least a larger-diameter tire—since such items are proven fuel-savers.

Always obey the 55-MPH speed limit. Actually, whenever you drive above 40 miles per hour, you not only consume extra fuel (because the engine is turning at an increased rate of speed) but also waste additional gasoline by forcing your auto to overcome more wind resistance.

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