Fuel-Saving Tips

AAA Automotive

With summer right around the corner and increasing gas prices throughout much of the country, AAA has several tips that can help motorists save money on fuel.

Fuel-Saving Vehicle Maintenance

  • Maintain recommended tire pressure. Low pressure reduces fuel economy and can damage tires.
  • Follow the recommended engine maintenance schedule in your vehicle's owner’s manual to ensure optimal engine performance and to conserve fuel.
  • Change your motor oil as recommended by the vehicle manufacturer.
  • Check and replace air filters. Clogged filters reduce fuel economy and increase exhaust emissions.

Driving Tips to Save Gas

  • Take advantage of cruise control features to help you maintain a constant speed when traveling on highways.
  • Use your overdrive gears during highway driving—this decreases your car’s engine speed, reducing fuel consumption and engine wear.
  • Keep windows closed when traveling at highway speeds. Open windows cause air drag and can reduce gas mileage by 10 percent.
  • Accelerate gradually. Avoid jackrabbit starts.
  • Anticipate your stops. When approaching a red light, let your foot off the gas as early as possible.
  • Avoid “revving” the engine, especially just before turning it off. Doing so wastes fuel and wears out cylinders.
  • Don’t start and stop your engine unless you need to. Idling for one minute consumes gas equivalent to the amount used to start an engine.
  • Automatic transmissions should be allowed to cool down when a car is idling in a stopped position at a railroad crossing or at a long stoplight. In these situations, a vehicle’s gear should be in neutral.

Planning Ahead

  • Run errands with a plan. Try to make one trip instead of three.
  • Don’t use your trunk for storage. A vehicle weighed down with heavy items can increase fuel consumption by 1 or 2 percent.
  • Travel light. A loaded roof rack can decrease fuel economy by 5 percent.
  • Take advantage of carpools or ride-share programs.
  • Avoid the practice of warming up your engine for prolonged periods of time before driving—doing so unnecessarily wastes fuel.

Find the Best Gas Prices Near You

Whether you’re going for a local drive or heading out on a road trip, knowing the gas prices at stations along your route can help you save money. Check out GasPrices.AAA.com, AAA’s online resource for gas prices and national averages, or use the AAA Mobile app. The AAA Mobile app makes it easy to locate the nearest gas stations (and the cheapest prices!) when it’s time to fill up.

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