15th August 06:15
Save on GAS. Stop paying so much! Read this..
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remember that following these 23 simple tips makes for a huge money saver as
well! I am looking out for the rest of us because, "I TOO AM TIRED OF
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As Promised, even if you don't buy my product at least follow these helpful
tips and secrets. IT WILL HELP US ALL SAVE IN THE LONG RUN!
1. Anticipate, use your brakes less, and don't accelerate quickly.
Look far down the road ahead, even if "far" means half a city block. Get
into position for turn-lanes smoothly and early so that you don't have to
accelerate to get in front of traffic. Remember that the guy who leaves the
stoplight the quickest also pays more at the pump. Anticipate stops or
slow-downs ahead and take your foot off the gas: try to coast much more than
See a long train at the RR crossing ahead? Get your foot off the gas
immediately. You can idle forward in Drive for a long way (without
braking), for ~30% less fuel than sitting in Drive, and nearly the same fuel
use as sitting in Park.
Remember: any additional distance you coast will save fuel and extend your
2. Minimize idling, and idle smart: Engines only need 10 to 30 seconds
for warm-up, and idling your engine for more than a minute typically costs
more fuel than re-starting it. So avoid the drive-thru lines at the bank
and the fast-food shop: instead of sitting in line, park and go inside.
BUT, when you must idle with an automatic transmission, put the transmission
in Neutral or Park while you're waiting: this will cut your fuel usage at
idle by 15-35% depending on the vehicle. If you have a manual transmission,
don't use the clutch to keep from rolling back - use the brake. This will
save fuel and extend your clutch life.
3. Use Cruise Control. It's proven to save fuel. But here's a
secret... it's not just for cruising. Using the "Resume" button on your
cruise control can be a handy compromise to provide reasonable acceleration
times that don't irritate drivers behind you, without wasting excessive
4. Overdrive and gear selection. If you have an automatic with
Overdrive, use the Overdrive. If you have a manual transmission, shift
early to keep engine rpm's lower and be sure to use the highest gear for
5. Slow down. As you increase speed above 60 mph, wind resistance
starts increasing dramatically as a percentage of total fuel consumption.
Estimates are that every mile over 60 mph costs you 1% in fuel economy. In
other words, when you speed, you're paying more at the gas pump.
6. Watch your tire choice. Replacing your tires/wheels with wider
and/or taller ones may look awesome, but keep in mind that your choice could
have a 1 to 3% penalty in fuel economy... or even more in extreme cases like
"monster truck" tires/wheels.
7. Carefully consider your route and the time of day: traffic flow is a
For example, see the picture to the right. Those
vehicle-following-distances are typical of traffic in many large cities. If
this highway traffic is stop-and-go, fuel economy will be bad. On the other
extreme, if the traffic is moving smoothly and fast (at 60 - 80 mph), then
your fuel economy is going to be superb: those rushing vehicles create a
jet-stream of air which dramatically reduces your wind-drag losses - 10 to
30% improvements are possible. For maximum fuel economy, follow a larger
vehicle and use your cruise control (just bump speed up/down 1 mph to
adjust). Also, keep in mind the wind direction: if there's a strong wind
blowing in from the right, and you drive in the right lane, you get no break
in wind resistance.
8. Plan and Combine errands to make fewer trips. Think like your
great-grandparents did. Plan meals and grocery shop once a week or twice a
month; just make a list of other errands during the week, plan your route,
and do it all on the same day. Dropping off the kids at practice? Arrange
with other parents to carpool or to pick them up for you.
Such planning may seem like work at first, but it will give you more free
time, help you relax, and can improve your average fuel economy by 5 to 15%.
It can also cut your average weekly mileage by 20% or more. Total dollar
potential: save 10-35% of monthly fuel costs.
How does this help fuel economy? During the first several miles while
warming up, the engine and transmission are not operating at full
efficiency. This is why city fuel economy can drop dramatically in cold
weather, when it can take 10 miles for the transmission to warm up.
Automatic transmissions in particular can be huge power hogs when fluid is
cold (hot/cold temperatures are one of many reasons to use a full-synthetic
100,000-mile transmission fluid - see more on this below), and manual
transmissions can feel like you're shifting in molasses. Combining two or
three trips into one will not only reduce the miles you drive, but will get
you better fuel economy on the way.
9. Use air conditioning wisely. In city driving, it's cheaper to use
the vents and/or roll the windows down. But at highway speeds, it's a
different story: rolling the windows down will cost you more fuel than using
the air conditioner. These factors can affect fuel economy by ~ 1-5%.
10. Buy fuel wisely. Ok, this isn't actually improving your fuel economy,
but there are several things to save money on: Filling up on Tuesday
afternoon or Wednesday morning will normally save you money: those are
typically the lowest prices of the week. Also, filling up in the morning
when the fuel is cooler will get you a few extra cents of fuel. So your
best time to fill up is - on average - Wednesday morning. Don't "top off"
your tank: you risk losing fuel to the station's vapor-recovery system,
giving them back some of what you're paying for.
11. Use a good fuel additive. Injectors with excessive deposits have poor
spray patterns that can cost you 2 to 15% in fuel economy. Those deposits
are caused by poor quality fuel. Since '95 the EPA has required all
gasoline to have deposit-control additives. But as fuel quality control
capabilities have improved over the years, average fuel quality has dropped
steadily. Now about half of all fuel on the market is Lowest Additive
Concentration (LAC) gasoline, which barely meets the regulation and
contributes to excessive deposits. What can you do? First, if your vehicle
is designed for premium gas, and you use premium, your injectors may be
fine: many premium fuels include much higher additive levels that are
effective at keeping injectors clean. However, what if you don't use
premium? Use "Top Tier" detergent gas if you can find it, because this new
class of fuel meets the 2004 GM/Honda/Toyota/BMW deposit control standard.
Shell states that all their gas grades meet the Top Tier standard.
If you don't need to pay for premium and Top Tier isn't available, you
probably need an additive. BEWARE: there are a lot of mousey fuel additive
products in ads and on store shelves that generate ridiculous sales profits
but don't do much for your vehicle. Find a good one that will clean your
injectors, keep them clean, and (for diesels) lubricate your fuel pump.
12. Lose some weight! Reduce your vehicle's weight: clean out the trunk
(and maybe the back seat). Summer snow-chains and tools from that weekend
project two months ago is costing you fuel! For every 200 pounds in your
trunk, it costs you roughly 1 mpg.
13. Don't drive! Carpool, occasionally ride a bicycle or walk, telecommute
for part of your work-week, or take public transportation.
14. Shift your work-hours to avoid gridlock. Stop-and-go traffic is hard
on fuel economy. Try to arrange traveling to/from work when traffic flow is
running smoothly at the speed limit.
15. Park in the Shade: The hotter the fuel tank gets, the more gas you
lose to evaporation.
16. Smart vacation thinking: If your vehicle is a gas guzzler, consider
renting an economical vehicle to drive on vacation. With a discounted
week-long rate at better fuel economy, the rental might pay for itself. If
you lease your vehicle, using a rental vehicle will also lower your total
17. Keep a log of your mileage and fuel. I've done this for years, first
in vehicle expense record books, and later with a program in my Palm PDA.
One advantage is that you can monitor your fuel economy and driving habits.
Not only can you learn the cost benefits of changing your driving style, but
you can spot the poor fuel economy that is often a first-alert to
maintenance issues. In addition, as you make changes to improve fuel
economy, you can measure the exact results (averaged over a few fill-ups for
Second: vehicle MAINTENANCE & UPGRADES.
These areas often get skipped in recommendations on getting better fuel
economy, and that's unfortunate because they can have huge impacts. In
fact, that's why I'm providing this list - so that you can learn about these
These all fall into two general ways to improve fuel economy:
- decrease friction in the vehicle's drivetrain (engine, transmission,
differential, wheel bearings);
- make it easier for air to flow through the engine, anywhere between the
air intake and the exhaust tailpipe.
These are the same areas that performance-enthusiasts improve to get more
horsepower. I recently spoke with a Lexus mechanic who owns a Dodge 2500
pickup with the ***mins turbo-diesel engine. He was quite surprised that
with his many thousands of dollars of horsepower upgrades, even running
large tires and higher ground-clearance, he was getting about 23 mpg.
"Every time I increased the power, the fuel economy improved." No surprise
to me: except for the tires, he was also increasing his engine's efficiency
with nearly every power upgrade.
18. Keep your engine tuned up. If you have a dashboard service-engine
light on, you're typically wasting fuel: for example, bad Oxygen Sensors are
a classic problem that can cost you 5-15% in fuel economy. Overall, poor
engine tuning and lack of maintenance will often decrease fuel economy by
10-20%, and it can be even worse in some cases.
19. Inflate your tires to their optimum: HIGHER pressures than "normal".
Besides improving fuel economy, this will improve handling, increase safety,
and increase tire life. Under-inflated tires can lower gas mileage by 0.4
percent for every 1 psi drop in pressure of all four tires.
Over 90% of car tires on the road are under-inflated, and this costs money
in both fuel and in shortened tire life. "Experts" generally define the
"proper" pressure as the vehicle manufacturer's recommendation, and that's
what most service shops try to follow. Who can blame them when even the
government says to follow inflation pressures on the vehicle's OEM (Original
Equipment Manufacturer) door sticker? Unfortunately, that's seldom correct.
OEM wheel/tire combinations for most passenger cars and light trucks are
designed by the tire manufacturer for even tread pressure on the ground when
inflated to between 35 and 42 psi [pounds per square inch]: far more than
the recommended 28 to 33 psi that you'll find in many owner's manuals or on
door-jamb labels. If your tires normally wear the tread off the shoulder
before the center of the tire, you can be certain that your tires are
Vehicle manufacturers like to get the cushy ride quality by using
under-inflated tires, rather than by using more expensive shocks, springs
and suspension designs. What YOU need is even road-contact pressure across
the tread, because that gives you maximum tire life, better fuel economy,
best performance in bad weather, and best overall handling and cornering
characteristics. If you look closely on many tires, you'll see a reference
to 35 psi and a maximum pressure of 44 psi. So as long as you don't put
more than 44 psi in your tires, you're fine.
So how much air pressure should you use? How do you figure it out? First
of all, buy a digital pressure gauge - there are a lot of them for $8-20,
typically accurate to a half psi or less. Or, you can use a mechanical-type
gauge if it has a LARGE round dial. These bourdon-tube gauges are capable
of good accuracy, but check the packaging to see how accurately it's
calibrated. Whatever you do, DON'T use a straight "stick" air pressure
gauge. Inconsistent and inaccurate, stick gauges often read 2 to 10 psi
higher than actual pressure, meaning your tires will always be
under-inflated by at least that amount.
Next, inflate your front tires to about 40 psi and your rear tires to about
38 psi. (Most vehicles are heavier in the front than in the rear. If yours
isn't, maybe from stuff you haul in the truck-bed or trunk, then use the
same pressure in all four tires.) Then watch how your tires wear. The
ultimate is to buy a simple tire tread depth-gauge (max $6), and use it to
check tread depth in the center, and near each "shoulder" of the tire (near
the inside and outside edges). If your tires wear more quickly on the
edges, increase your air pressure by 1 or 2 psi. If they wear more quickly
in the center, then decrease the air pressure by 1 or 2 psi. Most tires
like to be in the 38-40 psi range, but if you put a wider tire on a
stock-width rim, you'll normally have to drop the air pressure to compensate
and get an even pressure "pad" across the tread.
Results? By our conservative estimates, most passenger vehicles are riding
on tires that are 8 psi low. (That 20% difference can decrease tire life by
an estimated 30% per the Technical Maintenance Council.) So overall,
bumping your tire pressure up to the optimum will likely give you a 3%
increase in fuel economy, depending on your vehicle, tires, and current air
pressure. You'll also get longer tire life. Be sure to check/adjust your
tire pressure monthly, increase tire pressure temporarily when you're
carrying loads, and rotate your tires twice a year or every 10,000 miles.
For more complete details on proper tire care, visit this excellent article
20. Switch to best-quality synthetic oils and filters throughout your
drivetrain: engine oil, transmission fluid, differential gear oil and wheel
bearing grease. This advice - to use the best synthetic lubricants - is
drastically neglected, yet it's an EASY area to save a lot of money.
However, it's not a simple area to understand, so here's a brief primer on
The number of vehicle owners turning to synthetic engine oil has increased
dramatically, which is very good news for consumers because synthetics are
better than petroleum products in every way, BY DESIGN.
But consumers don't realize THREE KEY THINGS:
First, that the benefits of synthetics extend to every lubrication area in
the vehicle, including ball-joint grease. For example, most differentials
and transmissions fail because their fluid has failed, either because the
fluid hasn't been changed frequently enough, or because the fluid overheated
in towing. Synthetic transmission fluid helps hugely to prevent problems,
and naturally saves fuel at the same time. My '94 Taurus SHO got 10% better
car fuel economy with engine oil and transmission fluid change, my '02
Sierra 2500HD Duramax got 8% better truck fuel economy with just synthetic
engine and differential fluids, and a friend's '99 Olds Silhouette van
picked up 20% just by changing to synthetic engine oil - saving over $600/yr
21. Improve airflow AROUND your vehicle:
- Keep your windows rolled up at speeds over 40 mph: you'll feel a lot of
air turbulence around the window, and the air-conditioning is probably
cheaper than the fuel-economy penalty in additional wind-drag.
- Turn off the air and roll down the windows at speeds under 40 mph in the
summer heat: the additional wind-drag is cheaper than the air-conditioning.
- Consider adding a truck bed cover, either soft-type or hardshell: they can
give you a 1 to 2 mpg boost. What about dropping your tailgate to travel,
or buying an "air gate" net or louvered tailgate to replace the stock part?
Those are not as reliable - results depend on the vehicle aerodynamics, bed
length, and the size and shape of what you do (or don't) have in the truck
- Reduce air turbulence under your vehicle: "Off-road" packages which
include protective underbody "skid plate" features, or "ground effects"
styling packages can help enough to add 1-5% in fuel economy. The downside
is that these can make the vehicle more difficult to work on.
- Adding an air deflector to the roof of your vehicle when towing will also
add 1 to 3 mpg, but keep in mind that it will also reduce your non-towing
fuel economy by about the same amount if it's still on the vehicle when
you're NOT towing. (These air deflectors improve fuel economy by helping to
"kick" the air up over the trailer, reducing the trailer's wind-drag.)
- Loaded roof racks or cargo pods can cut 5% or more off your fuel economy.
A cargo rack that slides into a trailer hitch allows you to carry extra
stuff, still get into your trunk, and use less fuel.
- Sunroof air-deflectors can be handy, but they do cost you a bit of money.
Removing the air deflector might save 1/4 to 3/4% in fuel economy.
22. Improve airflow into the engine. This can happen in several stages of
increasing complexity, but the first place is the air filter, where air
enters your engine. If your filter is dirty, that reduces fuel economy - up
to 10% in the worst cases. However, there's a conflicting problem.
Conventional filters should NOT be replaced before the OEM's recommended
interval or they will increase your engine wear rate: they rely on the "dust
cake" buildup to achieve effective filtration, which can reduce fuel
Easy: Here's an easy "no-brainer" improvement: Replace your air filter with
nanofiber filters born from military/aerospace technology. (Released in
2005 with worldwide patents, reasonably priced, with a huge percentage of
applications covered and still growing in 2007.) You get pressure drop
nearly as low as an oiled gauze filter while filtering out 100% of wear
particles down to 3 microns (for real). Clean with an annual
tap/shake/vacuum. No warranty problems. .
23. Improve airflow out of the engine: Install an aftermarket exhaust
system. These have larger diameter pipes and larger, less restrictive
mufflers. My point isn't to get louder, but to reduce "backpressure" losses
which cut down on horsepower, torque and fuel-economy. Since increased
noise is typical, and some systems are intentionally designed to be loud,
you may want to shop for the exhaust sounds you do or don't want. Borla
<http://www.borla.com> is my personal high-quality favorite, because they
tastefully design for great improvement without being overly loud.
Keep in mind that on turbo-charged engines, anything you do to improve flow
(reduce backpressure) through the exhaust system will pay rewards in
increased turbo pressure, faster spool-up, and of course, better fuel
economy. So if a larger down-pipe out of the turbo is an available option,
take it: that's a useful upgrade that is sometimes overlooked.
Upgrade to a more fuel-efficient vehicle. But be cautious. Everyone wants
to make money from your vehicle change, so be sure to look out for your best
interests. There are several ways to do this. First, beware of sticker
price. Spending a lot more money to get more fuel economy may not begin to
pay you back before you sell the vehicle. Hint: hybrids are getting "hot" in
the market, but they are often not worth the money. One reason is initial
cost penalty, another is unrealistic fuel-economy claims, and another is
high replacement costs for the big battery packs that these vehicles use to
store and transfer energy. If that 56 mpg turns out to really be 41 mpg as
a recent long-term test did in the '05 Toyota Prius vehicle (Car and Driver
magazine), and you spent $6k more than an equivalent non-hybrid, and you're
faced with a $2,300 battery replacement bill after 3 years and you only keep
it for 4 or 5 years... well, the 36 mpg standard vehicle was a better deal.