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Gas Savings Tips, Techniques and Guidelines
Including Tips for Purchasing Gas, Car Maintenance, Driving Techniques and Traveling
Date: March 13, 2011
Author: David Smidt, SeniorDiscounts

The price for a gallon of gas is going up once again and it looks like this summer the price could hit and all time high. With the average American driving between 12,000 and 15,000 miles per year, according to the Federal Highway Administration, what better time to revisit the many ways we can all help save on our fuel costs. Just follow a few simple guidelines, tips and techniques and you can save a bundle each year.

Purchasing Gas:

  • Use non-brand name gas. Most non-brand name gas stations use the exact same product as the brand names.
  • Use the correct grade of gas. Premium grade is not always the best for cars. Find out what is recommended by the manufacturer of your car and use the lowest recommended grade.
  • Don't top off. Studies have shown that the "top off" usually remains in the hose or is lost to evaporation. Overfilling can also result in sloshing over and out of tank.
  • Try to fill up only when your car is on empty as a full tank is heavier and leads to less fuel economy.
  • Tighten up that gas cap after filling up. Loose, missing or damaged gas caps cause over 147 million gallons of gas to evaporate each year, according to the Car Care Council.

Car Maintenance:

  • Check the tire pressure. While this is not a huge gas saver, under-inflated tires can lower gas mileage by 0.4% for every 1 psi drop in pressure.
  • Change the air filter regularly. This is an inexpensive way to improve your gas mileage by as much as 10%.
  • Keep your car tuned. Fixing a car that is out of tune can improve its gas mileage by an average of 4%. If your car has a faulty oxygen sensor, your gas mileage may improve as much as 40%.
  • Use the recommended grade of motor oil. You can improve your gas mileage by 1%-2% by using the recommended grade of motor oil.

Your driving technique is the number one way to improve your gas mileage. Below are some tips to help increase your car’s MPG. In the past few years, the term “hypermiling” has become a new phenomenon in driving efficiency. Hypermiling is a combination of driving techniques to help you maximize your vehicle’s efficiency. Hypermiling claims to provide up to a substantial increase in your fuel consumption by following some of the techniques. For more information visit:

  • Avoid sudden stops and acceleration. Rapid acceleration and braking burns more fuel and is harder on your vehicle.
  • Minimize air conditioning use. When possible use the vents to bring in outside air.
  • Drive the speed limit. Gas mileage decreases rapidly at speeds above 60 mph. Each 5 mph you drive over 60 mph is like paying an additional 10% or more per gallon for gas.
  • Avoid excessive idling. Turn off the engine if you anticipate a lengthy wait. Instead of idling at a drive-up window, park the car and go in. Idling burns more gas than restarting the engine.
  • Combine errands. Several short trips taken from a cold start can use twice as much fuel as a longer multipurpose trip covering the same distance when the engine is warm.
  • Avoid carrying unneeded heavy items. An extra 100 lbs in the trunk reduces a typical car's fuel economy by 1%-2%.
  • Turn off unnecessary power. All the electrical equipment in a vehicle is powered from the alternator which will increase its load on the engine to produce more power. So when you can do it safely, turn off those headlights.
  • Avoid prolonged warming up of engine, even on cold mornings. 30 to 45 seconds is plenty of time.
  • Aggressive driving such as; speeding, rapid acceleration and braking, wastes gas. It can lower your gas mileage by 33% at highway speeds and by 5% around town.
  • Shift into neutral when you are standing still to reduce transmission strain and cool off the transmission.


  • Use the cruise control. Using cruise control on the highway helps you maintain a constant speed and, in most cases, will save gas.
  • Use the overdrive gears. When you use overdrive, your car's engine speed goes down and saves gas.
  • Keep windows closed when traveling at highway speeds. Open windows cause air drag, reducing your gas mileage by 10%. Studies have shown that opening windows at highway speeds consumes about as much gas as using the air conditioner.
  • Keep items in the vehicle. A loaded roof rack can decrease your fuel economy by 5%.

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