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  • Writer's pictureJM-Simplified

Top Ten Fuel Saving Tips

Whether you drive a tiny hybrid or a three-ton SUV, chances are you can squeeze a bit more distance out of each gallon of fuel and at today's gas prices, an improvement of just one or two miles per gallon can really add up.

These fuel saving tips can help you improve your car's fuel economy and take some of the strings out of high gas prices. Most of these tips will give you a very slight increase in MPG, but use several together and the gas mileage improvements will really add up.

1. Slow Down As your speed increases, your aerodynamic drag increases in an exponential fashion. Driving 62 mph (100 km/h) vs 75 mph (120 km/h) will reduce fuel consumption by about 15%. Many people drive 5 to 10 miles above the posted speed limit, especially on the highway. If you are one of the "five/ten-over on the freeway" set, try driving the speed limit for a few days. Driving the speed limit will help you to conserve fuel. You'll save a lot of fuel and your travel times won't be much longer.

2. Do Not Accelerate or Brake Hard By anticipating the traffic and applying slow steady acceleration and braking, fuel economy may increase by as much as 20%.

3. Keep Tires Properly Inflated The phrase “rolling resistance” refers to the friction created when the tires of your car roll along the road. When it comes to saving gas, you want your tires’ rolling resistance to be as low as possible. Lower resistance = less friction = less fuel consumption. You can keep your rolling resistance low by regularly checking your tire pressure and filling your tires with air when the air pressure is low. Keep tire air pressure at the level recommended by your vehicle manufacturer. A single tire under inflated by 2 PSI, increases fuel consumption by 1%.

4. Use A/C Sparingly When the air conditioner is on it puts extra load on the engine forcing more fuel to be used (by about 20%). The defrost position on most vehicles also uses the air conditioner.

5. Keep Windows Closed Windows open, especially at highway speeds, increase drag and result in decreased fuel economy of up to 10%.

6. Regular Car Maintenance

Whether it’s getting your oil changed, replacing your air filter, or having a tune-up done, making sure your vehicle is properly maintained is key to saving money at the pump. Simply replacing your air filter on a regular basis can improve engine performance and gas mileage. Also, using the right grade of motor oil and having your oil changed on time can result in an increase in fuel economy. Add a simple tune-up and your gas mileage could be boosted by 4%. This goes to show you that properly maintaining your vehicle can pay off in the long run. Proper maintenance avoids poor fuel economy related to dirty air filters, old spark plugs or low fluid levels.

7. Use Cruise Control Maintaining a constant speed over long distances often saves gas.

8. Avoid Heavy Loads Remove the sand bags from your trunk in the spring and pack lightly for long trips.

9. Avoid Long Idles If you anticipate being stopped for more than 1 minute, shut off the car. Restarting the car uses less fuel than letting it idle for this time.

10. Purchase a Fuel Efficient Vehicle When buying a new vehicle examine the vehicle's rated fuel efficiency. Usually choosing a small vehicle with a manual transmission will provide you with great fuel economy. And if you've never considered a hybrid or a diesel, maybe it's time — small hybrids like Toyota's compact Prius (not to mention Honda's family-sized Accord Hybrid) are great in town, while diesel like the Chevrolet Cruze Diesel get great fuel economy on the open road.

Improving your fuel efficiency can make a big difference to your wallet.

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