Monday, July 14, 2008

Smart Ways to Save on Gas

Here are some helpful ways to save money on gas while travelling around West Virginia and seeing the beautiful scenery.

With gas prices around $4 a gallon, a 20-gallon fill up will set you back 80 big ones! Instead of squeezing dollar bills out of your wallet, here are a few tips to help you squeeze more miles out of every tank of gas.

Drive Intelligently
Avoid aggressive driving. I read in a magazine that you should drive as if there was a hard-boiled egg between your foot and the gas pedal. By observing speed limits and avoiding abrupt starts and stops, you can increase mileage by 5% on city streets and up to 33% on the highway.

Control your speed. Using cruise control automatically reduces the amount of fuel you burn on the highway. When you set your speed, remember that gas mileage dramatically decreases when you exceed 60 mph.

Don't idle. If traffic is at a standstill, turn off the engine. An hour of idling can swallow a gallon of gas. Also, avoid long lines at drive-through windows - you'll save money by going inside.

Get your car in shape
Tune up. Keep your spark plugs clean, your engine tuned, and your wheels aligned. Replacing a clogged air filter can improve your gas mileage by 10% saving up to 40 cents per gallon.

Use the right motor oil. If the oil is too thick, your engine will have to work harder, burning more fuel as it does. To thin, and your car won't get the right protection. Stick with the type recommended by your owner's manual.

Take care of your tires. Keep tires inflated to the pressure recommended in your owner's manual. Soft tires use more gas, but over inflating your tires (as some mileage savers suggest) will mess with your car's handling.

Cheat the wind
Roll up your windows. It may seem odd, but you'll get better summer mileage by cranking the A/C on the highway, since open windows create drag at high speeds. If you're just running errands around town, fresh air is best.

Maintain a sleek profile. Avoid accessories like luggage racks, which increase drag, and keep your tailgate upright. Fix any dents, especially to the front of the car.

Hopefully these tips will help you save a little green. Be sure to take advantage of the gas saving tips while touring around West Virginia's scenic beauty or even taking in one of the many summer fairs and festivals!

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