Doing these things may be using more gas

Gas prices are rising and everyone is wondering how they can increase the gas mileage. Some of the things that may have been true once may now actually be costing more.

It’s always been a good thing to keep your vehicle well maintained and that is still true. One of the best ways to not waste gas is to have the tires properly inflated and the engine running smoothly and clean. Don’t forget to have the brakes checked. A dragging brake not only will cause the brakes to wear out faster it will make the engine work harder and use more gas.

What might be costing, and showing little to no improvement are gimmicks. Over the years Customer Reports and the EPA has tested many products and have yet to fine any that show any significant improvement on gas mileage.

Another is the idea of when to purchase gas. Some may think that if waiting to Wednesday to get gas they have caught the downward swing of prices from one weekend to another. But the price of gas is likely to change any day of the week. However if you know that gas is on an upswing, and you know the schedule of delivery to your favorite station, it could be wise to get the gas before the delivery. The same would be true if you suspect the price may fall.

Once upon a time it may have been true that keeping the engine running for a few minutes may have saved. But with the current engineering of vehicles, whenever the engine runs more than 30 seconds without moving, you will be using more than stopping and restarting.

Two other items that have been proved to help improve gas mileage are using a cruise control and driving sensibly. Rapid stops and starts as well as exceeding the speed limit can quickly zap the mileage and therefore the wallet. By using the speed control on long trips, the vehicle runs at a constant speed if set, at the speed limit. The speed for the best gas mileage is 50-60 miles an hour.

© 2007 Steven G. Atkinson – All Rights Reserved

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