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Old 07-02-2008, 10:00 AM
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Default Cool ideas to save you money at the pump

Cool ideas to save you money at the pump
July 1, 2008

With the rising cost of fuel prices, we all know it’s getting more and more expensive just to get to work. Gas prices are at a record high and at $4.08 or more per gallon, we’re all feeling a pinch at the pump. From employees who use innovative ways to get to work, to tips on saving gas, here are a few smart moves to help stretch your dollar and decrease the amount of time between fill ups.
  • Slow down.
    No matter what kind of car or truck you drive, gas mileage drops dramatically at speeds over 60 mph. As a general rule, every 5 mph you drive over 60 mph is like paying an extra 20 cents per gallon of gas.
  • Be gentle.
    Avoid jack-rabbit starts and sudden stops, which can lower your gas mileage by 33% on the highway and by 5% around town, according to the Energy Department.
  • Lighten your load. Try not to keep unnecessary items in your car, especially heavy ones. Each 100 pounds of extra weight can reduce fuel efficiency by 1% to 2%.
  • Scout out cheap gas.
  • Gasbuddy.com recommends avoiding gas stations in affluent areas and near major freeway exits. In major metropolitan areas, outlying suburbs tend to have the lowest gas prices, according to the web site. If you're not in a hurry when you're traveling, gasbuddy.com suggests driving a few blocks from the freeway exit to find cheaper gas prices. But look out for service stations with on-site auto repair shops. Gasbuddy.com reports they often charge more for gas.
  • Skip traditional gas stations.
    Check out wholesale clubs, grocery stores or department stores with gas stations on site. Gasbuddy.com says these businesses often sell gas at discounted prices to entice people into their stores and may offer credit for in-store purchases when you fill up with gas.
  • Keep your car in shape.
    Worn spark plugs, low transmission fluid and dragging brakes can suck your gas tank dry. Check your owner's manual for recommended maintenance schedules and get regular engine tuneups. Fixing a car that is noticeably out of tune or has failed an emissions test can improve its gas mileage by an average of 4%, though results vary based on the kind of repair and how well it is done. Fixing a serious maintenance problem, such as a faulty oxygen sensor, can improve your mileage by as much as 40%.
  • Avoid idling.
    A gas-powered car at idle gets zero miles per gallon. If you're not in traffic, but expect to wait longer than one minute, consider turning off your vehicle. Idling burns more gas than restarting the engine. Also, look into hybrid cars which can run on battery power when idling.
  • Don't neglect your tires.
    Keep your tires properly inflated and make sure you have them aligned periodically. You can improve your gas mileage by around 3.3% by keeping your tires inflated to the proper pressure. Plus, properly inflated tires are safer and last longer.
  • Purify the air.
    Replacing dirty air filters can increase gas mileage by up to 10% while also keeping impurities from damaging your car's engine.
  • Choose the right oil.
    All oils are not created equal — and that's especially true when it comes to engine oil. Using only the manufacturer's recommended grade of motor oil cited in your owner's manual can improve your fuel efficiency by 1% to 2%.
Thanks for reading,
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