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Gas Saving Tips

Here are some simple rules to live by when trying to improve your fuel economy and at the same time make your gasoline dollars go further. Combining several of these tips can improve your mileage by up to 20%.

General User Tips
How to Buy Gasoline
How to Drive Economically

General User Tips

1. Keep a record of your gasoline usage - stop at your local office supply store and they should have a simple booklet you can purchase that you can fill out every time you buy gas or service your car. Make sure you check your fuel economy with every fill up using this record. This is the best way to see if your car may be having some fuel robbing problems. You fuel economy should stay pretty consistent over time.

2. For long trips, use your most gas friendly car - it might be a tight fit, but the savings can be really big.

3. Consolidate trips - try and schedule your trips and combine them. Many times just making a decision to go to a different side of town to shop can lead you to major price savings at the pump.

4. Avoid "reving" the engine, especially just before you switch the engine off; this wastes fuel needlessly and washes oil down from the inside cylinder walls, owing to loss of oil pressure.

5. Eliminate jack-rabbit starts. Accelerate slowly when starting from dead stop. Don't push pedal down more than 1/4 of the total foot travel. This allows carburetor to function at peak efficiency.

6. Avoid prolonged warming up of engine, even on cold mornings - 30 to 45 seconds is plenty of time.

7. Don't start and stop engine needlessly. Idling your engine for one minute consumes the gas amount equivalent to when you start the engine. Avoid the drive through at the fast food restaurant.

How to Buy Gasoline

1. Buy gasoline during coolest time of day - early morning or late evening is best. During these times gasoline is densest. Keep in mind - gas pumps measure volumes of gasoline, not densities of fuel concentration. You are charged according to "volume of measurement".

2. Normally the best time to buy gasoline from a pricing point is Wednesday morning. The prices are usually moved up for weekend by the oil companies and by Wednesday you have had three days of competition setting in among the stations to help drive the price down a few cents.

3. Most stations generally raise or lower their prices in the morning - around 10 AM. Expect a rise to occur on Thursday morning.

4. Some stations are fast to rise prices when they are going up, some are slow to go up. If you find that the price has gone up when you go to lunch, try and find one of those slow movers in your area so you can still purchase the cheaper gasoline.

5. Choose type and brand of gasoline carefully. Certain brands provide you with greater economy because of better quality. Use the brands which "seem" most beneficial.

6. Avoid filling gas tank to top. Overfilling results in sloshing over and out of tank. Try never to fill gas tank past the first "click" of fuel nozzle, if nozzle is automatic.

7. Avoid purchasing at exit ramps for highways - especially during holiday travel. These stations may be convenient but they know they have a captive audience. Try to fill up at your local station before you leave town - you know the one - where the prices are lowest.

8. If you have to buy on the highway, try to buy at the border stations when traveling between states. Many times these stations are very aggressive at trying to gain your business and many can take advantage of differences in state taxes.

How to Drive Economically

1. Slow down when possible - driving 55 mph can save up to 10% on gas mileage vs. driving 65 - 70 mph. This is due to wind resistance.

2. If your car has an overdrive gear, use it. Traveling at fast rates in low gears can consume up to 45% more fuel than is needed.

3. Manual shift driven cars allow you to change to highest gear as soon as possible, thereby letting you save gas if you "nurse it along". However, if you cause the engine to "bog down", premature wearing of engine parts occurs.

4. Keep windows closed when traveling at highway speeds. Open windows cause air drag, reducing your mileage by 10%.

5. Drive steadily. Slowing down or speeding up wastes fuel. Also avoid tailgating - the driver in front of you is unpredictable. Not only is it unsafe, but if affects your economy, if he slows down unexpectedly.

6. Think ahead when approaching hills. If you accelerate, do it before you reach the hill, not while you're on it.

7. Think ahead at stop signs and stop lights - no need to race up to a red light and then jam on the brakes to slow down. Plan to slow down before the light. If you can slow down soon enough to not have to stop at the light, you can save quite a bit a fuel versus starting from a standing start.

8. Stoplights are usually timed for your motoring advantage. By traveling steadily at the legal speed limit you boost your chances of having the "green light" all the way.

9. Regular tune-ups ensure best economy; check owner's manual for recommended maintenance intervals. Special attention should be given to maintaining clean air filters... diminished air flow increases gas waste.

10. Remove snow tires during good weather seasons; traveling on deep tire tread really robs fuel!

11. Inflate all tires to maximum limit. For each pound of pressure the tire is under inflated, you consume about 1% more fuel. Make sure you carry in your car an accurate tire gauge and know what the pressure should be. Check your tires at least twice a month and always before, during and after long trips.

12. Remove excess weight from trunk or inside of car - extra tires, back seats, unnecessary heavy parts. Extra weight reduces mileage, especially when driving up inclines.

13. During cold weather watch for icicles frozen to car frame. Up to 100 lbs. can be quickly accumulated! Accumulated snow and ice cause tremendous wind resistance. Try and keep your car clean at the carwash when possible..

14. Avoid using roof top carriers - they can cause serious drag on the car and lessen your mileage by up to 15%. Pack it in or leave in behind.

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