Gas prices are creeping up once again. It’s putting a bigger dent in our wallets right when we are taking our final summer trips and gearing up for the start of a new school year. Maximizing the fuel efficiency of your vehicle means fewer emissions, and it’s better for your bottom line. Here are my top five ways for getting the most out of every gallon you buy.
1. Nix the Aggressive Driving
Speeding up and then quickly slamming on the brakes puts unnecessary wear and tear on your vehicle, and kills your fuel economy. In fact, aggressive driving can reduce fuel mileage by as much as 33 percent!
2. Keep Tires Properly Inflated
Check your tire pressure monthly to be sure you’re at optimal levels. Proper tire pressure levels can be found in the owner’s manual. Be sure to get an accurate reading by measuring the pressure when the tires have been idle for hours. Keeping your tires properly inflated can save you up to 8 cents on every gallon.
3. Lose the Extra Weight
We all know how easy it is to let stuff accumulate in the back of your vehicle but all that extra weight can really eat into the fuel efficiency. For every 100 pounds of extra weight that you tote around in your ride, you’re adding about two percent to your fuel costs.
4. Use Cruise Control on Flat Terrain
Cruise control can make long trips bearable, but it can also help you conserve fuel. Use cruise control when you’re on flat terrain to maximize fuel efficiency but switch to foot control when you’re driving through hilly areas.
5. Keep Up With Routine Maintenance
Keeping your car well maintained will extend the life of your vehicle. It can also save you money at the pump. Make sure that your car gets regular oil changes and that you’re choosing the proper type of oil for what you drive. Also, make sure you change your filters regularly and get timely tune-ups.
Incorporating some of these gas saving tips will ensure you get the most of every drop of gas. Do Your Part to use less fuel, conserve resources, and create less air pollution, all while keeping more money in your pocket.
Terri Bennett is a veteran TV meteorologist, eco-expert and author of “Do Your Part: A practical guide for everyday green living,” available at DoYourPart.com.