Improve gas mileage with better driving, maintenance

May 23 2011 - 11:52am

Want to get better gas mileage? Use these tips to squeeze more distance out of a tank of gas:

-- Drive as if there's an egg under your foot, gradually accelerating from stops. Darting forward from stops, slamming on the brakes and other sudden speed changes can rob up to a third of your gas mileage.

-- Don't speed. Fuel consumption declines by 7 percent for every 5 mph over 60 mph. Each car has a different speed for maximum fuel economy, but it generally declines above 60 miles mph.

-- Keep your foot off the brake while accelerating. You'll reduce your gas consumption by as much as 35 percent.

-- Inflate tires as recommended by owner's manual. Under-inflated tires can reduce fuel efficiency by nearly 3 percent.

-- Replace air filters as recommended by manufacturer. A dirty one can cut gas mileage by up to 10 percent.

--Tune up. This can improve mileage by up to 4 percent.

--Check your gas cap to make sure it's secure and tightly sealed. Almost a fifth of cars -- 17 percent -- have missing or broken gas caps. Fixing this will improve efficiency by about 1 percent -- and will protect the environment from harmful fumes or spills.

--Consolidate trips. Before you head out to the dry cleaners, check the fridge to see if you need more milk.

-- Get junk out of the trunk. Reducing excess weight. -- Don't automatically turn on the air conditioner in warm weather. When driving at city speeds, keep windows open to save energy. At highway speeds, turn on air conditioning; open windows create drag, reducing efficiency.

Sources: AAA, American Petroleum Institute, Consumer Federation of America and National Institute for Automotive Service Excellence

(Distributed by Scripps Howard News Service,


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