Attitude is Everything in Saving Gas

AUSTIN, January 22, 2013 - The type of car or truck you drive, how it’s maintainedand how you drive are the most important factors in both conserving fuel and staying safebehind the wheel. Here are some tips from AAA that will help you save gasoline and money:

■ If you own more than one car — especially if one of your vehicles is a less fuel-efficient vehicle such as a pickup truck, sport utility vehicle or van — use the more energy-conserving vehicle as often as possible.

■ Consolidate trips and errands to cut down on driving time and miles traveled.

■ Find one location where you can take care of banking, grocery shopping and other errands. Comparisonshop by phone, online or through newspaper ads.

■ Slow down. The faster a vehicle travels, the more fuel it burns.

■ Avoid quick starts and sudden stops. This wastes fuel, is harder on vehicle components and increases the odds of a traffic crash.

■ Lighten the load. Don’t haul extra weight in the passenger compartment, trunk or cargo area of your vehicle. A heavier vehicle uses more gasoline.

■ Keep your eyes open for low fuel prices, but don’t waste gas driving to a distant filling station to save a few cents.

■ Stick to a routine maintenance schedule. Keeping tires inflated, moving components properly lubricated and ignition and emission systems operating properly will help ensure maximum fuel efficiency and extend the life of your vehicle. Think it Through Your driving style can have a significant impact on the amount of fuel you use. Remember the following:

■ Know the correct starting procedure for your car. Don’t race a cold engine to warm it up or allow it to idle for an extended time. Avoid rapid acceleration until the engine temperature is in the normal range. The engine will warm up faster under a light load, and emissions equipment will begin to function properly sooner.

■ Maintain steady speeds for the best fuel economy. A car uses extra fuel when it accelerates.

■ Minimize the need to brake by anticipating traffic conditions. Be alert for slowdowns and red lights ahead of you, and decelerate by coasting whenever possible.

■ Travel at moderate speeds on the open road. Higher speeds require more fuel to overcome air resistance. Remember, however, speeds slower than the flow of traffic can create a traffic hazard.

■ Use the air conditioner conservatively. Most air conditioners have an “economy” or “recirculation” setting that reduces the amount of hot outside air that must be chilled. Both settings can reduce the air-conditioning load — and save gas.


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