Gas Saving Tips

Charleston, SC

With fuel prices on the rise, many people are looking for ways to conserve petroleum products and minimize waste. There are plenty of tips for reducing the frequency of your pump visits and over time the savings can be significant.

Consider purchasing your gasoline at the coolest hour of the day, when it's most dense, because gas pumps measure volume instead of fuel concentration. Be selective about the type and brand you choose; certain brands are more economical due to better quality. Use the fuel grade recommended by your car's owner's manual; a car will not recognize a higher-octane fuel as a "treat" anyway. Never fill the tank up all the way to the top. "Capping off" can result in fuel sloshing out of the tank, wasting your money and causing pollution! Be sure to screw the gas cap tightly closed, or your "Check Engine" light may come on when the fuel system recognizes inadequate pressure in the line.

Maintain your tires at the recommended pressure. Not only will your tires wear evenly, your ride will be smoother. Similarly, be sure that your brakes are working properly if you hear a persistent metallic squeal, your brakes are slowing your car even as you're accelerating! Your car's air filter must be clean to be efficient, too; replacing it is a "do it yourself" job, even for those of us who are not mechanically proficient.

When warming up the engine, 30-45 seconds is plenty of time, even in colder weather. Try to avoid "revving" the engine, which guzzles gas and can contribute to a loss of oil pressure. Incessant starting and stopping of the engine also wastes fuel. Try to maintain steady speeds when driving - slowing down and speeding up can be a significant fuel waster.

Keep your windows closed when traveling on the highway to reduce wind drag. Opt for the straightest, shortest, most evenly-surfaced level route to your destination. Keep in mind that corners, curves, bumps and hills use extra gasoline. Accelerate smoothly before you reach a hill rather that when you are climbing it. Remember to remove any excess weight from your car's trunk or backseat, which can have a negative impact on your mileage.

Each of these small measures can reduce both your fuel waste and trips to the gas station. Collectively, they have a substantial impact on your wallet and your car will thank you.

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