Gasoline Saving Tips

With rising gasoline prices, many drivers are tightening their budgets and finding ways to save at the pump.

  • Maintaining your engine. On a modern car, that means not driving with the "check engine" light on. That light signals a fault with a component such as the oxygen sensor. A bad oxygen sensor can reduce fuel economy by as much as 40 percent and will increase your vehicle's emissions output.
  • Drive at a steady pace – Stop and go driving increases your gas consumption by as much as 33%. Avoid quick stops and accelerations.
  • Check oil – Be sure to use the recommended viscosity (weight/thickness) oil for your engine. A thicker oil can lower your fuel economy by two percent. Following the recommended service interval for your vehicle will help prevent crud from gumming your engine's internals, increasing friction and lowering efficiency.
  • Use the air conditioner a little as possible – Avoid using the air conditioner as much as possible. When the air conditioner is on the engine works harder, increasing gas consumption by about 20 percent.
  • Keep tires properly inflated – Properly inflated tires can improve your gas mileage as much as 3 percent.
  • Don't idle for long periods – Idling your engine for one minute uses the same amount of gas as starting the engine.
  • Lightening the load – Remove all unnecessary items from your car. Leaving extra unneeded items in the car will decrease your gas mileage. For very 100 lbs extra you leave in your trunk it will lower your gas mileage by as much as 2 percent.
  • Buy gas during the coolest hours – Buy gas during the early morning hours or evening when the air temperature is coolest. Gas is densest during the cooler hours. Gas pumps measure volumes of gas not the concentration of gas density.
  • Don't top off your gas tank – When you fill your automobile, the gas nozzle automatically clicks off when your gas tank is full. If you top off your tank, the extra gas may evaporate into your vehicle's vapor collection system. Also, gas station pumps are equipped with vapor recovery systems that feed back gas vapors into their tanks to prevent vapors from escaping into the air and contributing to air pollution.

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