1. Keep your car tuned up. Cars in poor running condition use more gasoline.
2. Plan trips well to avoid unnecessary driving.
3. When you run your air conditioner, you get much worse gas mileage. Use your air conditioner sparingly. If you have a lower setting, use it. Turn it on until the car gets cool, then turn it off and let the fan circulate the cool air. Never run your air conditioner with your windows open!
4. Keep your windows closed when traveling at high speeds. Open windows cause additional drag and lower your gas mileage. At high speeds, an open window can use more gas than many air conditioners (especially if they are on a low setting).
5. Check your tire pressure. Over-inflated tires can actually reduce your fuel efficiency, so don't overfill.
6. If at all possible, change your work start time to avoid gridlock. Stop-and-go traffic hurts your gas mileage.
7. Take unneeded items out of the car. You don't need to carry snow chains around with you in the summer time. Just make sure to put them back in when winter comes around.
8. Try not to idle your engine for long periods of time. If you are stuck in traffic and you don't think you are going to go anywhere in the next five minutes, you may want to turn your car off.
9. You no longer need to warm your car up for long periods of time, especially new cars. New cars are made to run when cold.
10. Don't travel at fast speeds in low gears unless you need the compression to slow down.
11. Try to drive the speed limit.
12. Try to accelerate slowly when leaving the stop light. It's not a competition with the driver in the lane next to you. The fastest person through the intersection just gets to spend more on gas.
13. No need to buy the highest priced gasoline. Most cars are built to run on regular unleaded. Check you owners manual or consult a mechanic. I have had many tell me that the more expensive gas is a waste of money.
14. Revving the engine needlessly wastes gas. There is no need to rev before you turn your vehicle off.
15. If at all possible, try to arrange car pools with co-workers to share the cost of commuting to work.
16. Walk, bike, or run to your intended location whenever possible.
17. When the price is sky high, don't fill up. Wait for the price to go down before you fill up your tank. Filling up your tank when the price is peaking lets gas companies know that you are willing to pay ridiculous prices for gasoline.
18. And last, the biggest and most important step towards saving money on gas is always to try and purchase vehicles that get good gas mileage. The difference between 20 miles-per-gallon and 40 miles-per-gallon is huge.
Fisher Swanson is a regular contributer to The ThriftyFun.com News. ThriftyFun publishes information about thrifty living. Send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org to subscribe to The ThriftyFun.com News or visit www.thriftyfun.com.© 2004 Fisher Swanson
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