The price of gasoline is increasing but you may be able to off-set some or all of this increase by following a few driving and maintenance tips. The first tip is to drive sensibly. Aggressive driving, which includes speeding, rapid acceleration and braking wastes gas, and it can lower your gas mileage by 33% at highway speeds and by 5% around town. Sensible driving is also safer for you and others, so you may save more than gas money.
You can also keep more money in your wallet if you obey the speed limit. While each vehicle reaches its optimal fuel economy at a different speed, gas mileage usually decreases rapidly at speeds above 60 mph. It is safe to assume that each 5 mph you drive over 60 mph is like paying an additional 30-cents per gallon for gas. And of course, observing the speed limit is also safer for everyone.
Cruise control can also save you money when it comes to the pump. Using cruise control on the highway helps you maintain a constant speed and, in most cases, will save gas.
Make sure you keep your engine properly tuned. Fixing a car that is noticeably out of tune or has failed an emissions test can improve its gas mileage by an average of 4%, though results vary based on the kind of repair and how well it is done. Fixing a serious maintenance problem, such as a faulty oxygen sensor, can improve your mileage by as much as 40%
You can improve your gas mileage by 1-2% by using the manufacturer's recommended grade of motor oil. For example, using 10W-30 motor oil in an engine designed to use 5W-30 can lower your gas mileage by 1-2%. Using 5W-30 in an engine designed for 5W-20 can lower your gas mileage by 1-1.5%. It;s also a good idea to look for motor oil that says "Energy Conserving" on the API performance symbol to be sure it contains friction-reducing additives.
You can improve your gas mileage by up to 3.3% by keeping your tires inflated to the proper pressure. Under-inflated tires can lower gas mileage by 0.3% for every 1 psi drop in pressure of all four tires. Properly inflated tires are safer and last longer. The proper tire pressure for your vehicle is usually found on a sticker in the driver's side door jamb or the glove box and in your owner's manual. Do not use the maximum pressure printed on the tire's sidewall.
Combining errands into one trip saves you time and money. Several short trips taken from a cold start can use twice as much fuel as a longer multipurpose trip covering the same distance when the engine is warm. Trip planning ensures that traveling is done when the engine is warmed-up and efficient, and it can reduce the distance you travel.
If you want to save money on gasoline, consider staggering your work hours to avoid peak rush hours and drive your most fuel-efficient vehicle. Consider working from home if your employer permits it. If not, take advantage of carpools and ride-share programs. You can cut your weekly fuel costs in half and save wear on your car if you take turns driving with other people.
A roof rack or carrier provides additional cargo space and may allow you to meet your needs with a smaller car. However, a loaded roof rack can decrease your fuel economy by 5%. Reduce aerodynamic drag and improve your fuel economy by placing items inside the trunk whenever possible. Avoid carrying unneeded items, especially heavy ones. An extra 100lbs in the trunk reduces a typical car's fuel economy by 1-2%.
If you're thinking about buying a new vehicle you can take a look at www.fueleconomy.gov for gas mileage estimates and more information for 1984-2013 model year cars. Selecting which vehicle to purchase is the most important fuel economy decision you'll make. The difference between a car that gets 20 MPG and one that gets 30 MPG amounts to $930 per year, assuming 15,000 miles of driving annually and a fuel cost of $3.72. That's $4,650 extra in fuel costs over five years!
You can also find fuel efficient vehicles at Bob Tyler Toyota in Pensacola. Bob Tyler is located at 7201 Pensacola Blvd. You can call the dealership at (850) 478-9999 or Toll Free at (888) 496-8207, or visit them online at http://bobtylertoyota.com/default.aspx.
Sponsored by: Bob Tyler Toyota
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