2. Close your windows on the interstate and save up to 10% mileage by reducing air drag or leave them open and turn off the air conditioner, for a 10%-20% savings in gas mileage. It does seem to cancel out.
3. Pick a speed and keep to it. Speeding up and slowing down eats up gas. Also obey the speed limit on the interstate. Higher speeds eat up fuel...60 mph is 10% more fuel efficient than 70 mph.
4. Cruise control helps you keep a steady pace and maximizes fuel efficiency.
5. Don't accelerate as you climb the hill. Gradually speed up as you approach it. You'll be back to your normal speed by the peak.
6. Rough, rocky roads can cost you up to 30% in mileage. Avoid them whenever possible.
7. Avoid driving fast in low gear. It can mean a 40% mileage loss.
8. Driving at a speed normal for the traffic will often get you through a string of traffic lights with green lights all the way. Stop-and-go driving costs gas.
9. While we're talking fuel efficiency, consolidate your errands and avoid rush hour. Also, consider the various benefits, including lower gas cost, of walking or bicycling short distances rather than driving.
10. Check tire inflation regularly. They should be at the recommended pressure. For each pound of underinflation, you lose 2% in fuel efficiency. Also properly inflated radials have 2%-3% better mileage than regular tires.
11. Mileage is reduced by extra weight from unnecessary heavy cargo in the back seat or trunk. 100 pounds of extra weight = 1% mileage lost.
12. Winter snow and ice clinging to your car also reduces mileage by adding to the load you are hauling.
13. Carpool whenever possible. A no-brainer...it spreads the fuel cost, while offering other benefits, as well.
14. Modern cars don't need warming up. If you spend more than 30-45 seconds warming the engine, you're wasting fuel.
15. Gas up in the late evening or very early morning; gas in the pumps is at its densest due to cool temperatures.
16. If you stop an engine and restart it within one minute, rather than idle, you're wasting fuel. On the other hand, avoid idling for long periods.
17. Keeping your car tuned up will improve fuel economy. That means oil change, change the filter when recommended, check alignment, make sure the engine is running smoohtly, and of course, check the tires themselves. The smoother your car runs, the better the gas mileage.
18. Gas up at the busiest station. You get the freshest gasoline, with minimal risk of contamination and efficiency.
19. Car racks and anything else that protrudes from your car reduces the aerodynamics and hurts your fuel efficiency. If not needed, ditch them until needed.
20. To minimize aerodynamic drag, keep your car clean and waxed.
About the Author
Nick Howes is a freelance writer and radio newscaster in Nashville, Illinois. His used book site is at http://home.midwest.net/~howes.