1. Drive smart:
Aggressive driving (meaning quick acceleration, hard braking and speeding) wastes gas. In fact, it can lower your gas mileage by 33 percent at highway speeds, and by five percent on the city streets.
2. Choose wisely:
Don't assume that neighboring gas stations will have the same prices -- check around. Also note that gas stations near freeways and popularly-traveled roads, as well as those in high-income areas, will charge more.
3. Just park it:
Don't circle the lot hoping for a great parking space. Take the shortest route to a free space and walk from there. Circling doesn't just waste gas, but is usually ultimately slower than simply parking somewhere a little less convenient and walking.
4. Get pumped up:
Keep your tires properly inflated and aligned to increase gas mileage by up to three percent. Under-inflated tires can lower gas mileage by nearly half a percent for every 1 psi drop in pressure of all four tires. Properly inflated tires are also safer and last longer.
5. Be cool:
If you're hot, don't open the windows -- they increase drag and decrease gas mileage, especially at highway speeds. Ultimately, using the air conditioner is cheaper to run, though you should try to minimize your use of the AC. When you can, use the vents to bring in outside air.
6. Go 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 15 to 20 cents per gallon of gas. Is it worth it?
7. Lock it up:
If your tank isn't secured, get a locking gas cap. With prices so high, you're more of a target for siphoners if you're not locked up tight. Locking gas caps are available at most auto parts stores.
8. Stay in tune:
Fixing a car that is out of tune or has failed an emissions test can improve its gas mileage by an average of about four percent (though your results will vary based on the kind of repair, and how well the job is done).
9. Close the gate:
It's an urban myth that driving a pickup truck with the tailgate down will get better mileage by decreasing wind resistance. In fact, a study published by the National Research Council of Canada says that despite what you'd think, keeping it down (or using a mesh tailgate in its place) actually has the opposite effect. When the tailgate is up, a bubble of air forms in the truck bed, allowing air to flow more smoothly over and off the truck -- and without as much drag. (A tonneau cover works best of all.)
10. Re-think your route:
Look into lesser-traveled routes where you can travel at a steady pace instead of joining in on rush hour traffic. (Your blood pressure will thank you for it, too.)
11. Figure it out first:
Check maps (especially those online) before you go to make sure you know how to get where you're doing. You'll avoid the hassle, time spent and gas used by getting lost -- or by having to pull over for directions.
Want more ideas? Check out www.SheKnows.com/save-gas for 33 more gas- and money-saving tips.
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