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10 Easy-to-Follow Gas-Saving Steps
Here are 10 easy-to-follow steps to increase your fuel economy. When you’ve mastered these, grasshopper, you’ll be ready for the master’s course in hyper-mileage.
- Don’t speed. Driving 65 mph instead of 75 mph will increase your fuel economy by about 10 percent. Pride yourself on being a slowpoke.
- Avoid "jack rabbit" starts. Flooring the gas pedal wastes gas and leads to drastically higher pollution rates.
- Anticipate stops. Think ahead to anticipate stops so your vehicle can coast down. Accelerating hard and braking hard wastes gas, increases pollution, and wears out your brakes.
- Keep your tires properly inflated. For every 3 pounds below recommended pressure, fuel economy goes down by about 1 percent.
- Avoid rush hour, if possible. Stop-and-go driving burns gas and increases emissions of smog-forming pollutants. For hybrids that can stay in electric mode at low speeds, the effects of stop-and-go driving are greatly reduced.
- Travel light. An extra 100 pounds in your trunk reduces fuel economy by about 1 percent.
- Combine trips. Warmed-up engines run more efficiently and generate less air pollution.
- Leave off the air conditioning, if possible. AC increases fuel consumption, increases smog-forming NOx emissions in some vehicles, and can involve environmentally damaging fluids. At high speeds, open windows increase drag; use vents if possible. Learn more about effects of air conditioning on hybrids.
- Check your own fuel economy every few weeks. If you notice the numbers slipping, then think about how your driving might have changed, and consider getting a tune-up or an oil change.
- Drive less. Give your car a rest by taking public transportation, riding a bike, or walking. The exercise will do you good.