Since it doesn’t look like gas prices are ever going to be lower, we’ve got to be proactive and start looking at ways we can cut costs when it comes to our fuel usage.

Following are some tips I’ve collected from various sources to help us all along the way:

  • Buy gasoline during coolest time of day – early morning or late evening is best. During these times gasoline is densest. Keep in mind – gas pumps measure volumes of gasoline, not densities of fuel concentration. You are charged according to “volume of measurement”.
  • Don’t start and stop engine needlessly. Idling your engine for one minute consumes the gas amount equivalent to when you start the engine.
  • Avoid filling gas tank to top. Overfilling results in sloshing over and out of tank. Never fill gas tank past the first “click” of fuel nozzle, if nozzle is automatic.
  • Auto air conditioners can reduce fuel economy by 10% to 20%. Heater fan, power windows and seats increase engine load; the more load on your engine, the less miles per gallon.
  • Never exceed legal speed limit. Primarily they are set for your traveling safety, however better gas efficiency also occurs. Traveling at 55 mph give you up to 21% better mileage when compared to former legal speed limits of 65 mph and 70 mph.
  • Exceeding 40 mph forces your auto to overcome tremendous wind resistance.
  • Eliminate jack-rabbit starts. Accelerate slowly when starting from dead stop. Don’t push pedal down more than 1/4 of the total foot travel. This allows carburetor to function at peak efficiency.
  • Avoid “reving” the engine, especially just before you switch the engine off; this wastes fuel needlessly and washes oil down from the inside cylinder walls, owing to loss of oil pressure.
  • Inflate all tires to maximum limit. Each tire should be periodically spun, balanced and checked for out-of-round. When shopping for new tires, get large diameter tires for rear wheels. Radial designs are the recognized fuel-savers; check manufacturer’s specifications for maximum tire pressures.
  • Park car so that you can later begin to travel in forward gear; avoid reverse gear maneuvers to save gas.
  • Automatic transmissions should be allowed to cool down when your car is idling at a standstill, e.g. railroad crossings, long traffic lights, etc. Place gear into neutral position. This reduces transmission strain and allows transmission to cool.
  • Stoplights are usually timed for your motoring advantage. By traveling steadily at the legal speed limit you boost your chances of having the “green light” all the way.
  • Avoid rough roads whenever possible, because dirt or gravel rob you of up to 30% of your gas mileage.
  • Do not rest left foot on floor board pedals while driving. The slightest pressure puts “mechanical drag” on components, wearing them down prematurely. This “dragging” also demands additional fuel usage.
  • Think ahead when approaching hills. If you accelerate, do it before you reach the hill, not while you’re on it.
  • Drive steadily. Slowing down or speeding up wastes fuel. Also avoid tailgating – the driver in front of you is unpredictable. Not only is it unsafe, but if affects your economy, if he slows down unexpectedly.
  • Keep windows closed when traveling at highway speeds. Open windows cause air drag, reducing your mileage by 10%.
  • Traveling at fast rates in low gears can consume up to 45% more fuel than is needed.
  • Avoid prolonged warming up of engine, even on cold mornings – 30 to 45 seconds is plenty of time.


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4 Comments on WFMW – Make every gallon count

  1. Jeni
    May 28, 2008 at 11:29 am (15 years ago)

    Gas prices are ridiculous. Makes me wish I had a horse & wagon. But then hay prices would probably skyrocket. 🙂

  2. Annie
    May 28, 2008 at 3:59 pm (15 years ago)

    WOW!!! Thanks Karen, these are some great tips. Everyone can use this information…it must have taken awhile to compile. Thanks!

  3. Kelsey
    May 29, 2008 at 5:04 pm (15 years ago)

    WOW thanks so much!

  4. sunnymum
    May 29, 2008 at 8:16 pm (15 years ago)

    Very practical suggestions! I never thought about accelerating before reaching a hill, but that makes sense. I’ll try it next time!

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