Daily Dupaco

Tuesday, May 10, 2011

How to make your gas dollars stretch

By Emily Kittle

While we can't control the prices at the pump, we can reduce the amount of gas we use.

"It really comes down to driver behavior and auto maintenance," says Gail Weinholzer, director of public affairs for AAA Minnesota/Iowa. "Those are really the most integral ways to positively affect your fuel efficiency."

Here's a primer on getting the most gas mileage out of your vehicle:

Drive sensibly. Aggressive driving can lower your gas mileage by 33 percent at highway speeds and by 5 percent around town.

Obey the speed limit. Each 5 mph you drive over 60 mph is like paying an additional $0.24 per gallon for gas.

Clear the clutter. An extra 100 pounds in your vehicle can reduce your mpg by up to 2 percent.

Give your car a tune-up. It can improve your gas mileage by an average of 4 percent. Repairing a serious maintenance problem can improve your mileage by as much as 40 percent.

Keep tires properly inflated. You can improve your gas mileage by up to 3.3 percent. The proper tire pressure for your vehicle is usually found on a sticker in the driver's side door jamb or the glove box and in your owner's manual.

Plan ahead. Calculate the fuel cost of your trip with AAA's Fuel Cost Calculator. If you own more than one vehicle, you can find out which one will offer the best fuel efficiency and how much you will save. Use AAA's TripTik Travel Planner to map your trip and get prices at individual stations.

Sources: www.fueleconomy.gov and AAA

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