Gas-Saving Advice



Posted on October 9, 2009 at 11:55 AM

Updated Monday, Mar 21 at 3:19 PM

 With gas prices on the rise, there are a number of things you can do to make your tank of gas last longer.

1. Make sure your tires are properly inflated. When tires they’re underinflated, it's like driving with the parking brake on. That can cost you a mile or two per gallon.

2. Replace spark plugs regularly. The fuel penalty for just one misfiring spark plug is two or three miles per gallon.

3. Replace your air filters when they get dirty. Replacing a clogged air filter can improve gas mileage by as much as 10 percent, saving about 15 cents a gallon.

4. Tighten your gas caps. Seventeen percent of vehicles on the highway have either misused or missing gas caps, causing 147,000 gallons of gas a year to vaporize into the atmosphere.

5. Change your oil regulary. Dirty oil costs a mile per gallon.

6. Check your transmission. A slipping automatic transmission can waste a mile per gallon.

7. Fix your cooling system thermostat. A faulty one can cost as much as two miles per gallon.

8. Drive slower. You get better gas mileage going 55 than 80.

9. Check your trunk for excess weight. If you keep bags of heavy sand in your car, that could also burn extra gas.

10. Don't drive aggressively. Slamming down on the accelerator pedal from a stoplight, braking hard and speeding all contribute to a decrease in fuel economy. On the highway, the DOE says that every 5 mph you drive over 65 mph represents a 7-percent decrease in fuel economy.

11. Use a high gear on the highway, or cruise control on flat roads.

12. Don’t run your air conditioner unless you really need it. However, if you’re on the highway, it’s better to use air con instead of rolling down the windows, which causes increased drag on the vehicle.

13. Remove snow tires in good weather. Deep tread and big tires use more fuel.