Want to Save Money on Gas?
Plan Your Day Wisely
You can bundle your insurance coverage, and you can bundle your cable TV, phone and Internet, so why not bundle your errands? Plan your daily to-do list so you can make as many stops as possible in one trip. This technique is especially valuable in rural areas where you can travel for miles just to reach the outskirts of civilization. In more congested areas, also consider the time of day to avoid stop-and-go traffic. Idling can burn a quarter- to a half-gallon of gas each hour. That's money wasted.
Pump It Up
This one is about rolling resistance. It's essential that you keep your vehicle's tires properly inflated if you want to realize the best fuel mileage possible. Tires that are low on air have more drag and require more energy to move, which body-slams the pocketbook at the pump. The Energy Department says 17 percent of vehicles are rolling on underinflated tires. Properly inflated tires can improve mileage by as much as 3.3 percent, and they're safer and last longer. To figure the best pressure for your car, do not look to the tire sidewall; instead, look for a sticker in the driver's door jamb or glove box because it displays optimal pressure based on the weight and design of the vehicle.
Stay in Tune
Bringing an ailing engine into tip-top shape can improve its mileage by 4 percent. The impact of the tuneup depends on the overall condition of the engine before servicing. A tuneup that remedies a faulty oxygen sensor can produce up to a 40 percent improvement. Basic maintenance can also affect fuel efficiency. Even something as mundane as the grade of oil you use can affect mileage. According to the Energy Department, running 10W-40 oil in an engine that the automaker designed to run on 5W-30 oil can cost 1 to 2 percent in fuel efficiency. Always run the manufacturer's recommended oil and look for "energy conserving" on the package.
Don't leave heavy stuff in your trunk. According to the Energy Department, dropping 100 pounds from your ride will deliver up to a 2 percent improvement in fuel efficiency. Rooftop racks are another culprit. Even if they are empty, they are an aerodynamic no-no whose added wind resistance can cause a 5 percent reduction in fuel economy, the department says. Roof racks should be a "use 'em or lose 'em" proposition.
Evan Griffey served as an editor of Turbo & High Tech Performance, a pioneering publication about sport-compact tuning. Today Griffey freelances for Import Tuner, Sport Compact Car, Car Audio and Siphon.
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Agree with below assessment, people passing me to red lights. Then they put 400 hp in the hands of some lady driver in a 6,000 lb SUV who doesnt understand weight, mass, stopping distance physics etc.
Seen men driving like that also but, not as many.