FROM daily commuting to summer road trips, the amount of time we spend driving adds up quickly…and so can travel costs. However, a few good driving habits can help put the brakes on unnecessary spending and get you on the road to savings:
• Watch your speed. A faster trip may be less fuel efficient. When traveling at speeds above 50 mph, gas mileage tends to decrease rapidly.
• Lose weight in your car. Every extra 100 pounds can reduce fuel efficiency by up to 2 percent, so keep your trunk clear of unnecessary items.
• Avoid idling. When parked, shut off your engine to save fuel. An idling engine can consume up to a half gallon of fuel per hour.
• Inflate for a smoother ride. Keep your tires at the proper pressure to get up to 3.3 percent better gas mileage.
• Choose quality gasoline. Fill up with a quality fuel which can help your car get a few more miles per tank when compared to low-detergent gasoline. When used continuously, it helps clean and protect critical engine parts from harmful deposits, so you’ll go a little farther between fill-ups. Results will vary depending on a variety of factors and in tests were more significant in older model vehicles.
• Rack up a more efficient ride. Use a removable roof or bicycle rack and install it only when needed. By avoiding the extra bulk, you’ll minimize aerodynamic drag—the air and wind resistance your vehicle must overcome to accelerate and maintain a constant speed.
• Cruise cautiously. Use the cruise control on long stretches of highway driving when it’s safe to do so, which can help save fuel by helping your car maintain a steady speed. Driving aggressively by rapid acceleration and braking uses more gas.
North American Precis Syndicate Inc.