Want to save up to 20% or more on the cost of gas? Follow these 10 simple tips from the Consumer Federation of America.
Check Your Air Filter
Nearly one in four cars needs an air filter replacement. A clean air filter can improve gas mileage by as much as 10%.
Cost Savings: 20 cents a gallon*.
Poor alignment not only causes tires to wear out more quickly, but also forces your engine to work harder. Align your tires, and save up to 10%.
Cost Savings: 20 cents per gallon.
When was your last tune up? A properly maintained engine can improve mileage by up to 4%.
Cost Savings: 8 cents a gallon.
Pump ’em Up
More than one-quarter of vehicles are driving on deflated tires. The average under-inflation of 7.5 pounds causes a loss of 2.8% in fuel efficiency.
Cost Savings: 6 cents per gallon.
Check Your Gas Cap
Believe it or not, it’s been estimated that nearly 17% of cars on the road have broken or missing gas caps. What’s the big deal? Escaping fumes not only hurt fuel economy but release smog-causing compounds into the air. Avoid air pollution and improving fuel mileage is as easy as replacing a bad gas cap.
Cost Savings: 1 cent per gallon.
For every 5 mph you reduce highway speed, you can reduce fuel consumption by 7%.
Cost Savings: 14 cents (by reducing speed from 70 mph to 65 mph).
Drive More Smoothly
Avoiding jack-rabbit starts and stops, and herky-jerky driving will improve fuel economy. Don’t believe it? Lousy driving on the highway can add as much as one-third to your gas bill.
Cost Savings: 66 cents a gallon.
Lay Off The Brakes
Riding with your foot on the brake pedal will not only wear out brake pads (which will cost you at the maintenance shop) but can also increase gas consumption by as much as 35%.
Cost Savings: 70 cents per gallon.
For every 100 extra pounds carried around, your vehicle loses 1 to 2% in fuel efficiency. Don’t drive around with too much junk in the trunk.
Cost Savings: 3 cents per gallon (assuming 100 pounds of weight removed).
Besides causing pollution, idling wastes gas. If stopped for more than 30 seconds, turn off the engine, and don’t bother to “warm up” your car before driving — it is not necessary.
Cost Savings: 1 cent per gallon, for every three minutes you avoid idling.
* Cost estimates in this feature are based on $3-a-gallon gas, and assume that the car goes from the worst possible condition to the best.