Gas prices got you down? Even economy
cars can guzzle more than their share if their engines have been neglected. Beyond squandering fuel, poorly maintained
engines are notorious for corrupting the environment. Fixing a car that is noticeably out of tune or has failed an emissions
test can improve its gas mileage by over 4%.
Aggressive driving (speed, rapid
acceleration and braking) wastes gas. It can lower your gas mileage by 33 per cent at highway speeds and by 5 per cent
around town. Sensible driving is also safer for you and others, so you may save more than gas money.
Observe the Speed Limit
Gas mileage decreases rapidly at
speeds above 60 mph. Each 5 mph you drive over 60 mph is like paying an additional $0.10 per gallon for gas. Observing the
speed limit not only improves fuel economy, but it is also safer.
Avoid Excessive Idling
Idling gets 0 miles per gallon. Cars
with larger engines typically waste more gas at idle than do cars with smaller engines.
Use Cruise Control
Using cruise control on the highway
helps you maintain a constant speed and, in most cases, will save gas.
Use Overdrive Gears
When you use overdrive gearing, your car's
engine speed goes down. This saves gas and reduces engine wear.
Fuel economy saves you money every time you fill up.
The owner of a 40 mpg vehicle will spend $562 less each year on gasoline than the owner of a 20 mpg vehicle.
If you own your car for 4 years, the 40 mpg vehicle will save $2,250, assuming 15,000 miles of driving annually and a fuel
cost of $1.50.
1.5 million gallons of petroleum are
spilled into U.S. waters in a typical year. A single major oil spill can double that amount.
More than a third of the oil shipped by sea is destined for the United States. Using less will make future oil spills less
Petroleum fuels also leak from storage tanks, contaminating groundwater and streams. The U.S. Environmental Protection
Agency reports 1,000 confirmed releases each week. Using less oil will help reduce leaks.
133 million Americans live in
areas that failed at least one National Ambient Air Quality Standard.
Transportation vehicles produce 25-75% of key chemicals that pollute the air, causing smog, and health problems.
All new cars must meet federal emissions standards. But as vehicles get older, the amount of pollution they produce increases.
Vehicles with better fuel economy may produce less pollution over time than vehicles with lower fuel economy.
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 4.1 per cent, though results vary based
on the kind of repair and how well it is done. If your car has a faulty oxygen sensor, your gas mileage may improve as much
as 40 per cent.
Check & Replace Air Filters Regularly
Replacing a clogged air filter can
improve your car's gas mileage by as much as 10 per cent. Your car's air filter keeps impurities from damaging the inside of
your engine. Not only will replacing a dirty air filter save gas, it will protect your engine.
Keep Tires Properly Inflated
You can improve your gas mileage by
around 3.3 per cent by keeping your tires inflated to the proper pressure. Under-inflated tires can lower gas mileage by 0.4
per cent for every 1 psi drop in pressure of all four tires. Properly inflated tires are safer and last longer.
Use the Recommended Grade of Motor Oil
You can improve your gas mileage by
1 - 2 per cent 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 per cent. Using 5W-30 in an engine designed for 5W-20 can lower your
gas mileage by 1-1.5 per cent. Also, look for motor oil that says, "Energy Conserving" on the API performance symbol to be
sure it contains friction-reducing additives.