Thursday, March 27, 2008

Top Tips to Save Money at the Gas Pump

Gas prices are causing sticker shock, and perhaps indigestion, too. But there are some simple ways you can reduce your pain at the pump. You'll travel green and make your car more fuel efficient.

Slow down. Driving 65 MPH, rather than at 75 MPH, can increase your fuel economy by 15 percent. On the highway, use your cruise control setting -- it can give you two more miles per gallon.

Behave. Aggressive driving, such as 'jackrabbit' starts and slam-dunk braking, can reduce your highway mileage by a whopping 33 percent.

Keep your tires properly inflated. Under-inflated tires waste gas, and wear out the treads, too. Tire pressure changes one pound for every ten degree Fahrenheit change in the outside temperature, so if you haven't checked your tires since you stopped wearing winter mittens, you are wasting gas. And money.

Get rid of the junk in the trunk. Manufacturers are squeezing out every spare ounce from body parts to reduce weight and increase fuel efficiency. So why are you carrying around everything but the kitchen sink? Junk in the trunk reduces fuel efficiency.

No idling. Get in the car and go. Sitting there with the motor running gets you zero MPG. That's why hybrid cars are so much more fuel efficient than their comparable-sized gas only siblings -- when a hybrid is not moving, it switches to the electric motor, which doesn't use gas.

Get regular tune-ups. Just replacing your air filter can improve mileage by 10 percent.

Check your gas cap. Be sure there’s a tight seal, to prevent that high-priced octane from vaporizing. Nearly 20 percent of vehicles on the roads have gas caps that are damaged, loose or are missing altogether, wasting some 147 million gallons of gas every year.

Fill-up in the morning or evening, not mid-day. Why? Because gasoline expands with warmer temperatures. You'll get more gas and less air when the temperature is cooler.

Pump your gas slowly. Use the slow setting on the pump trigger to minimize the amount of money-wasting vapors you are putting into your gas tank.

Of course, you could also drive less, carpool, take the train, walk.

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