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Tips on Saving Gasoline
Release Date: July 01, 2005
Nikki Coddington, our energy conservation coordinator, has some tips on saving $$$. Please read and save money this summer. PAUL FEINER
Just in Time for Summer Getaways: Tips on Saving Gasoline
from the Greenburgh Energy Conservation Coordinator
Greenburgh drivers! By helping you save gasoline, these tips can help you save money, protect our environment (by reducing air pollution and emission of greenhouse gases), and reduce our use of fossil fuels, a nonrenewable resource. (According to the U.S. Department of Energy, two-thirds of the oil we consume powers transportation vehicles, and half goes to passenger cars and light trucks.) In addition, some of these tips can also help improve personal safety.
Of all the tips listed below, one of the simplest and most overlooked is to keep your tires properly inflated. This can make a difference not only to your fuel efficiency but can also help make your vehicle safer (according to the Society of Automotive Engineers, low tire pressure is the cause of several hundred thousand accidents a year) and help your tires last longer. And when was the last time your checked your tire pressure? A confession: I myself got around to checking mine for the first time only recently, and was shocked to discover all four of my tires were grossly underinflated. After I inflated them properly, I noticed a big improvement in my mileage! It’s a good idea to keep a pressure gauge in your glove compartment and check tire pressure monthly, and especially before you leave on a long trip. Remember to test your air pressure when the tires are cold (when the car has been driven less than a mile). (For directions on how to check and adjust tire pressure properly, see the Rubber Manufacturers Association page at http://www.rma.org/tire_safety/tire_maintenance_and_safety/part_pressure.cfm ).
For the rest of the tips, please see below (courtesy of the Alliance to Save Energy, www.ase.org). Happy driving!
Greenburgh Energy Conservation Coordinator
As the heavy summer vacation driving season approaches, the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) and the Alliance to Save Energy have teamed up on a Powerful $avings campaign to help consumers reduce energy bills and to help the nation reduce its energy use. They offer these tips for getting better gas mileage and reducing costs at the pump:
Smart Energy Practices
- Keep your engine properly tuned. Fixing a car that is noticeably out of tune or has failed an emissions test can improve its gas mileage by about 4 percent. Replacing a faulty oxygen sensor can improve gas mileage up to 40 percent.
- Keep tires properly inflated to improve your gas mileage by more than 3 percent. In addition, properly inflated tires are safer and last longer.
- You can improve your gas mileage by 1-2 percent by using the manufacturer's recommended grade of motor oil . Select motor oil with "Energy Conserving" on the API performance symbol to be sure it contains friction-reducing additives.
- Check and replace air filters regularly. Replacing a clogged or dirty air filter can improve your car's gas mileage by as much as 10 percent, and a clean filter keeps impurities from damaging the inside of your engine.
- Plan ahead for the shortest, most gas-saving itinerary to save time, money and wear-and-tear on your car. Avoid retracing your route to reduce the distance you travel. Several short trips taken from a cold start can use twice as much fuel as a multi-stop trip of the same distance with a warm engine.
- Stagger your work hours, if possible, to avoid peak rush hours. You'll spend less time sitting in traffic and consume less fuel.
- Take advantage of available carpools and ride-share programs. Sharing your commute with others cuts your weekly fuel costs, reduces wear on your car and may allow you to use less-congested High Occupancy Vehicle (HOV) lanes.
- Consider public transportation. Check the American Public Transportation Association's website for local information (www.apta.com/links/state_local/).
- Consider telecommuting - working from home - if and when possible.
- Whenever possible, walk to your destination. You'll lose weight, lower stress, save gas and money, and reduce pollution.
- Gas mileage declines rapidly above 60 mph, so don't speed. Each 5 mph increase above 60 is like paying an additional 10 cents a gallon for gasoline. (see this Wall Street Journal article)
- Curtail aggressive driving, which wastes gas and can lower your mileage by 33 percent at highway speeds and 5 percent in town. Nix jack-rabbit starts in favor of slow acceleration from a dead stop. Sensible driving also is safer for you and others - so you may save more than gas money.
- Avoid excessive idling, which gets 0 miles per gallon. Cars with larger engines usually waste more gas while idling than those with smaller engines.
- Avoid carrying unneeded items, especially heavy ones. An extra 100 pounds in the trunk cuts a typical car's fuel economy 1-2 percent.
Energy Efficiency Technologies
- When buying a new vehicle, think high gas mileage - it's the most important fuel economy decision you will make. See DOE's www.fueleconomy.gov website for information on fuel-efficient vehicles.
- The American Council for an Energy-Efficient Economy also offers information on fuel-efficient vehicles on its website (www.greenercars.com).
- Learn about current electric drive vehicles on the Electric Drive Transportation Association website (http://www.electricdrive.org).
- Consider purchasing a hybrid car, which can provide a $1,500 tax deduction this year.
- Use cruise control on the highway to help maintain a constant speed and, in most cases, save gas.
- Use your overdrive gear to lower engine speed, save gas, and reduce engine wear.
- If you own more than one vehicle, drive the one that gets better gas mileage whenever possible.
- When renting a car, ask for a model that gets better fuel economy. Also, remember to fill up the tank before returning the car to the rental company, which always charges much higher gas prices - and sometimes an extra gas surcharge.
All content © copyright 2005 The Alliance to Save Energy (www.ase.org). All rights reserved.
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