Gas prices are putting a crunch on our budgets. Here are tips on how to save on gas to help offset the rising prices.
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- Stay within posted speed limits. The faster you drive, the more fuel you use.
- Use overdrive gears. Overdrive gears improve the fuel economy of your car during highway driving.
- Use cruise control. Using cruise control on highway trips can help you maintain a constant speed and, in most cases, reduce your fuel consumption.
- Anticipate driving situations. If you anticipate traffic conditions and do not tailgate, you can avoid unnecessary braking and acceleration, and improve your fuel economy by five to 10 percent.
- Avoid unnecessary idling. Turn off the engine if you anticipate a lengthy wait. No matter how efficient your car is, unnecessary idling wastes fuel, costs you money and pollutes the air.
- Combine errands. Several short trips taken from a cold start can use twice as much fuel as one trip covering the same distance when the engine is warm.
- Remove excess weight from the trunk. Avoid carrying unneeded items, especially heavy ones. An extra 100 pounds in the trunk reduces a typical car's fuel economy by one to two percent.
- Keep your engine tuned. Studies have shown that a poorly tuned engine can increase fuel consumption by as much as 10 to 20 percent depending on a car's condition.
- Keep your tires properly inflated and aligned. Underinflated tires cause fuel consumption to increase by six percent.
- Change your oil. Clean oil reduces wear caused by friction between moving parts and removes harmful substances from the engine.
- Check and replace air filters regularly. Your car's air filter keeps impurities in the air from damaging internal engine components. Clogged filters can cause up to a 10 percent increase in fuel consumption.
- Buy only the octane level gas you need. Remember, the higher the octane, the higher the price. Check your owner's manual to determine the right octane level for your car.
- Own a fuel efficient vehicle. The difference between a car that gets 20 MPG and one that gets 30 MPG amounts to $1,500 over five years.
- If you're dissatisfied with a gas-saving product, contact the manufacturer for a refund. Most companies offer money-back guarantees. Contact the company, even if the guarantee period has expired.
- The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has evaluated or tested more than 100 alleged gas-saving devices and has not found any product that significantly improves gas mileage.
- Don't be lured by testimonials by satisfied customers using gas-saving products. Few consumers have the ability or the equipment to test for precise changes in gas mileage.
- No government agency endorses gas-saving products for cars.
- If the seller claims that its product has been evaluated by the EPA, ask for a copy of the EPA report, or check EPA.gov for information.