Recently, I was complaining to my mechanic about gas prices and how much it’s been costing me to fill up my car. Of course, he started to laugh, because my car is about 20 years older than me and I am always lost somewhere across town, causing my tank to live on E. But, after the jokes, he said something really interesting. He told me there are easy things you can do to improve the miles per gallon on your car, such as checking the air in your tires.
Out of curiosity I searched for more tricks. In addition to the great tips on page 82 on the July issue, on newsstands now, I came across some great ones on the U.S. Department of Energy’s website. Turns out my mechanic’s advice made their list. I plan on using these suggestions this summer, and just wanted to pass them on to you.
Drive sanely. Speeding, rapid acceleration, and braking waste gas and lower mileage 33 percent at highway speeds and 5 percent on local roads.
Go a little slower. Gas mileage rapidly decreases at speeds above 60 mph. And every 5 mph above 60 mph is like paying an additional $0.30 per gallon. That's $1.20 more per gallon when you hit 80.
Clean out your trunk. Heavier loads use up more gas, especially in smaller cars. This also goes for roof racks, so ditch the extra baggage.
Don’t idle. Leaving your car running while parked wastes up to a quarter to half a gallon of gas, depending on the engine size.
Check your engine. A properly tuned engine can improve gas mileage up to 4 percent.
Give your tires some air. Properly aired tires can save you up to $0.11 per gallon.
Ditch your old gas guzzler. If you’re spending more in gas to do your errands and grocery shopping, buying a better car may be the money-saving solution.