13 Gas Saving Tips

13 Gas Saving Tips
By Don Terrill (c)2005

I've never heard so much whining in all my life, and not just from the normal whiners, but from people I view as deep thinkers. Listen to them and you'd swear they're not going to survive - gas prices are going to kill them. I don't know what it is, but gas prices go up and people lose all sense of reality.

I'm going to give some tips for saving gas, but I'd first like to ask everyone to get out their calculator and run this formula:

(Price of gas today - Price of gas when you were not complaining) x Gallons consumed per month = The monthly difference

I think most people will be shocked by the actual monthly impact to their lives.

Anyway, on to the gas saving tips:
  1. Easy on the throttle - This may make more of a difference than anything else on the list. From my observations 80% of drivers think they're in a drag race. You can still drive the same speed, just take a fuzz longer to get to that speed. There are studies that show huge improvements - as much as 35%
  2. Slow down - Every 5 mph over 65 mph represents a 7% decrease in fuel economy.
  3. Easy on the brakes - Every time you press on the brake you're killing off energy you've already paid for. So, try to spend more time coasting to a stop and less time/pressure on the brakes.
  4. Use cruise control - I've seen studies showing as much as a 14% improvement.
  5. Inflate the tires - According to the U.S. Department of Energy if we all kept our tires properly inflated, we'd save 3.3% as a whole on fuel. I think the number is a lot higher that that.
  6. Avoid city driving - We all know this one.
  7. Turn off the air conditioner - The majority of studies now show that the windows down is better than running the air conditioner.
  8. Lose the weight - For every 100 pounds in weight reduction, fuel economy improves by 1% to 2%.
  9. Replace air filter - A clogged air filter can cost as much as 10%.
  10. Use lighter weight oil - This is why the manufacturers have moved to recommending lower viscosity oils.
  11. Don't over fill the crankcase - I harp on this all the time for performance, but keeping the crank from spinning in oil will also help mileage.
  12. Do a Tune-up - Even the newer computer controlled cars can fall out of tune and kill your mileage. For example, a bad oxygen sensor can hurt as much as 40%.
  13. Avoid idling - If the car idles for more than 60 seconds it's better to shut it off and restart.
Add that all up and you've got an 110% reduction in gas usage - you're actually producing gas I guess :)

Want to feel better about gas prices? Check out what the Europeans pay for gas.

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