Yerkes Upstate SC Blog

Driving Down Automotive Costs

Despite increasing high costs at the pump, we Americans will continue to make heavy use of our car for work, errands, vacation and recreation. Here are some driving tips which will improve your fuel economy:

Obey speed limits.
Gas mileage decreases significantly once you exceed 60 mph.

Anticipate Traffic Situations
Anticipating traffic conditions ahead and not tailgating can improve gas mileage by 5 to 10 percent. This driving strategy is not only safer, but it will also reduce wear on tires and brakes.

Use less accelerator pedal.
Use only enough pedal to maintain a constant speed. This reduces tire wear and mechanical repairs. Uses less gas.

Use Cruise Control
Using cruise control on the highway helps you maintain a constant speed and, in most cases, will save gas.

Buy the cheapest gas at the lowest octane.
Most current cars are designed to run well on 87 octane gas. If you have an older car and hear engine knocking (a sound like marbles in a tin can) especially when accelerating or climbing a hill, then try 89 octane.

Avoid long "warm-ups".
Instead, start car, let it idle a couple of minutes, then take off slowly and drive gently for at least 5 minutes.

Keep your tires properly inflated.
According to Goodyear, tires 4 to 5 psi below their recommended inflation pressure reduce gas mileage by 10 percent. Plus, properly inflated tires increase tire wear and safety.

If you stop your car for longer than one minute, turn it off.
It takes less gas to restart it than it does to leave the engine idling.

Make sure that everything that's inside your vehicle needs to be there.
Do not transport extra weight needlessly.

Stagger your work hours, if possible, to avoid peak rush hours.
You'll spend less time sitting in traffic and consume less fuel.

Choose the right vehicle for your needs.
Your choice of vehicle obviously has a dramtic effect on your fuel usage. Without sacrificing safetly, choose a vehicle that best fits you primary usage and does the job economically.

Consider buying a hybrid vehicle for your next car.
They provide increased fuel economy and may qualify for tax deductions.

Lastly, be sure your vehicle receives regular maintenance.
Changing the oil, checking tire pressure, and having a clean air filter will all lead to better vehicle performance and lower overall maintenance costs. Also, make sure engine is properly tuned if running raggedly.

Alliance To Save Energy
DOE - Energy Efficiency For Your Car


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