Tips for Cutting Fuel Costs

Remember $3.50 a gallon gas?  Weren’t those the good ol’ days?  Okay, we’re being facetious but seriously, with the average price of fuel in Oregon at more than $4 a gallon, we’re being faced with some harsh realities:  find a way to reign in that part of the budget or risk having to cut cable TV… or worse.

So, aside from the obvious (like driving a more fuel efficient car, driving less often, and carpooling) here’s a list of ways to bump up your fuel economy and knock a few cents off your gas bill.

  1. Tune up Make sure your engine’s running as efficiently as possible.
  2. Check tires Improperly aligned or underinflated tires make your engine work harder.  The goal is to take stress *off* the engine.  Also, if you’re one of those people (like this blogger) who likes tires bigger and beefier than she needs, know ahead of time that you’ll lose a few cents per gallon.
  3. Check air filter A clean air filter contributes to an efficient engine.
  4. Slow down CBS News quotes the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) as saying “most cars’ fuel efficiency peaks at speeds from 35 to 60 miles per hour.”   Every 5 miles an hour over 60 adds almost a quarter to your cost per gallon.
  5. Be consistent Drive, accelerate and stop smoothly.  It takes more fuel to drive erratically, race off the line, and slam to a stop.
  6. Take your foot off the brake Resting your foot on the brake while driving creates drag and makes the engine work harder than it needs to.
  7. Resist junk in the trunk It’s okay to haul stuff when you need to but extra weight requires more energy to move.  So, resist the urge to use your car or truck as storage space.
  8. Turn it off If stopped more than 30 seconds turn your vehicle off.  If there’s no need for the engine to be working let it rest.

Source:  www.dailygreen.com, www.autotrader.com, www.popularmechanics.com, www.bankrate.com

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