Friday, March 02, 2012

12 Ways to Save Fuel and Stretch Gasoline Dollars

With motorists facing ever-rising gasoline prices, the New York State Energy Research and Development Authority (NYSERDA) has developed a series of tips to help drivers save money at the pump.

To save money at the pump, NYSERDA recommends the following fuel saving tips:

Vehicle Maintenance that Saves Fuel

· Properly inflate your tires: You can improve your gas mileage by approximately 3 percent by keeping your tires inflated to the proper pressure. Under-inflated tires can lower gas mileage by 0.4 percent for every pound-per-square inch drop in pressure.

· Keep your vehicle tuned up. 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 percent, 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 percent.

· Change your oil according to manufacturer recommendations: Gas mileage can improve 1 to 2 percent by using a manufacturer’s recommended grade of motor oil. Also, look for motor oil that says “Energy Conserving” to be sure it contains friction-reducing additives that can increase gas mileage.

Driving Habits that Save Fuel

· Observe the speed limit: Gas mileage decreases rapidly at speeds above 60 mph.

· Drive sensibly: Aggressive driving wastes gas. It also can lower your gas mileage by 33 percent at highway speeds and 5
percent on local roads.

· Use cruise control where possible: Cruise control helps you save gas by maintaining a constant speed on the highway.

· Avoid excessive idling: Idling can use a quarter to a half gallon of fuel per hour, depending on engine size and air conditioner use. Turn off your engine when your vehicle is parked.

· Change your commuting habits: If you own more than one vehicle, drive the one that gets the best gas mileage. Try to avoid driving during peak rush hours to minimize engine idling and fuel loss.

· Consider buying a more fuel efficient vehicle: The U.S. Department of Energy provides a guide of the most fuel efficient vehicles sold in America. The 2011 Fuel Economy Guide can be viewed HERE.

· Combine trips: Stop by the store on your way home rather than making a special trip. Combining travel can save time, fuel and money.

· Car pool: Sharing a ride to and from work saves you and your coworker(s) gas, money and wear and tear on your vehicle.

· Remove excess weight. Avoid keeping heavy items in your car if you don’t have to. An extra 100 pounds could reduce your MPG by up to 2 percent.

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