Consumers may be victims of spiraling gasoline prices, but they are not powerless in controlling their fuel costs.
"There's a wide range of fuel-saving tactics that can help drivers get more miles from a tank of gas," according to automotive authority Joel Burrows, a.k.a. 'The Car Doctor' and VP of Training/R&D at Precision Tune Auto Care.
"If motorists adjust their driving habits and observe some simple car care techniques, they could make a significant impact on how much fuel they waste, and that translates into substantial money savings."
To drive this point home, the "Car Doctor" provides the following seven fuel-saving tips:
1. Keep tires properly inflated
(Recommended air pressure is posted on the driver's door or in the glove compartment). Under inflated tires cause drag; over inflation causes improper tire to-road contact. Both conditions will result in abnormal wear.
2. Plan your day.
Limit trips by running all errands at the same time or on your way to or from work.
3. Avoid making quick starts or stops, which use excessive fuel.
To avoid jamming on brakes, stay a good distance from the car in front of you. When possible, slow down simply by taking your foot off the gas.
4. Maintain steady speeds
Use cruise control on the open road. Use over-drive gear for highway driving.
5. Use proper octane fuel.
Higher-octane gas, which produces less energy, not only costs more, it also yields lower miles per gallon.
6. Don't let the engine idle more than a minute or two.
This is extremely important on cold morning start-ups.
7. During your regular maintenance check-ups, your technician should consult your manufacturers' recommendations to ensure all necessary services are performed to maintain your vehicle's warranty and ensure your vehicle is running at peak performance:
Engine and emissions analysis ensures that the engine is running at maximum efficiency.
Service all fluids in accordance with the manufacturers' recommendations; today's vehicles run on a fine film of fluids.
Fuel system service removes carbon deposits from intake valves and fuel injectors and providers for a smoother idle and increased fuel economy.