Fuel costs us a lot. Not only in money, but also in pollution and dependence on foreign oil. Choosing your vehicle and how you drive has a direct impact on these issues.
Transportation accounts for 66% of U.S. oil use — mainly in the form of gasoline.
- Bike, walk, or carpool to work. You don't only save money, but you also improve your health.
- Combine errands into one trip. Several short trips, each one taken from a cold start, can use twice as much fuel as one trip covering the same distance when the engine is warm.
- Keep tires properly inflated and aligned to improve your gasoline mileage by around 3.3%.
- Clear out your car; extra weight decreases gas mileage.
- Use air conditioning only when necessary.
- Replace clogged air filters to improve gas mileage by as much as 10% and protect your engine.
- Get regular engine tune-ups and car maintenance checks to avoid fuel economy problems due to worn spark plugs, dragging brakes, low transmission fluid, or transmission problems.
- Using cruise control on the highway helps you maintain a constant speed and, in most cases, will save gas.
- Aggressive driving (speeding, rapid acceleration, and hard braking) wastes gas. It can lower your highway gas mileage 33% and city mileage 5%.
- Idling gets you 0 miles per gallon. The best way to warm up a vehicle is to drive it. No more than 30 seconds of idling on winter days is needed. Anything more simply wastes fuel and increases emissions.