Genius Ways to Save on Gas

Did you know that 39% of Americans are considering a hybrid or plug-in for their next car? Even if you aren't, these tips will ensure you get more mileage out of every tank and save money on gas.

By Michael Frank (adapted from Popular Mechanics) from Reader's Digest Magazine | October 2012
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    At the pump, avoid gas rated E15.

    The E is for ethanol, which has about 30 percent less energy than gasoline and kills mpg. (Ethanol-free gas is rare today; you’ll probably have to settle for E10.)

    While at the filling station, inflate your tires properly and check them for uneven wear.

    And steer clear of those stickier, wider performance tires, which increase road friction and can sap mileage per gallon. Instead, opt for eco-focused tires, which reduce rolling resistance.

    On local roads, keep cool by opening the windows, enjoying the breeze, and turning off the gas-draining air-conditioning.

    At highway speeds, however, driving with the windows down creates drag. So at 40 mph or faster, roll up the windows and put on the AC.

    Notice to hoarders:

    You don’t need to lug around a case of oil, a bag of sand, or that box of antique tools you got at the garage sale, right? So empty the trunk—less weight, better mileage.

    A warm engine is more effective,

    so string errands together by driving to the farthest destination first, which will get the block heated up, and then working your way home.

    Avoid traffic pinch points when you can.

    Driving at speed is more fuel efficient than creeping along in low gear.

    Finally, get a tune-up.

     A smooth-running engine is more efficient.


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    Your Comments

    • sluker1

      And vote for candidates who consistently vote for more plentiful / cheaper oil.

    • Shiyizh

      best way of saving gas is using your feet to walk.

    • Ric

      Buy Brazilian ethanol and help to clean the air…

    • ric

      use ethanol the most you can….earth thanks you

    • Robert Byrd

      My motorcycle has gone from fifty miles per gallon to less than 45 miles per gallon. I hope they aren’t burning up my engine with fuel over E10.

    • Chris

      the best way to save on gas is to purchase a horse…

      • Tedbertot

        The cost to properly feed and care for a horse is about $12,000.00 per year.  Do you spend that much on gas?

    • Ken Reibel

      Don’t stick a flag or sport pennant on your car. That causes wind resistance.

    • Brian Mueller

      Mythbusters already busted the windows down or AC on myth.  Makes no difference on the cars they tested with.  The gas mileage was within the statistical error.  Added wind resistance from having the windows down offsets the savings from having the AC off.  Stop spreading misinformation.

      • Eric Herring

        Unfortunately Mythbusters only tested SUV’s. In my experience cars benifit from being more aerodynamically efficient and tend to do better with A/C fuel mileage as speed increases.

        This is pretty much the same with the magical 55mph myth. All cars vary, I have had cars that get their best fuel mileage as low as 45mph and one that was as high as 76mph.

    • Mike Slay

      I call bull-ony on the bit about using the AC above 40 MPH. This is easy to test in those newer cars that have digital MPG readouts. Opening the windows makes almost no difference in MPG, even at high speeds. Turning on the AC is always a significant hit.

      Why don’t people test these things before writing about them?