Saving You Money: Tips to Save on Fuel

By: Meredith Stancik Email
By: Meredith Stancik Email

Gas prices are soaring.

In Bryan-College Station we are paying close to $3 a gallon, and experts say it's only going to get worse.

One prediction is that gas prices will jump to $5 a gallon in 2012.

So how do we save money on fuel?

We talked to one expert who gave us three ways to save money on gas.

"Driving at a consistent speed is so important," Joe Zietsman with the Texas Transportation Institute said. "As soon as you slow down and have to pick up speed again, that really burns a lot of gas."

Eco-friendly driving is tip number one.

You want to use a feather foot on the accelerator pedal instead of a lead foot. Also, experts say always drive the posted speed limit. You'll save two miles per gallon driving 55 miles per hour, rather than 65, and that adds up.

"If you drive between intersections see if you can avoid acceleration and deceleration," Zietsman said. "Don't tailgate because that will burn a lot of fuel, and don't drive more than a prevailing speed between signalized intersections. They are coordinated with the prevailing speed and if you drive too fast you'll hit another red light and burn a lot of fuel."

If you are on the freeway, use your cruise control, and you can see a seven percent savings.

Tip Number two is to avoid idling. It is not necessary to warm up your car and idling just wastes gas.

"If you idle you are just burning fuel, up to a half a gallon per hour and you aren't getting any miles. Zero miles per gallon," Zietsman said.

Here's another tip. Turn off your engine if you expect to sit more than 30 seconds. Your engine actually warms up faster when it's driven.

And tip number three is to use your air conditioner in moderation. It may be a hard thing to do in Texas, but it will save you money.

"Use your air conditioner sparingly," Zietsman said. "If weather permits and you can roll down your window that would be a good idea. That could save you 20 percent in fuel consumption right there."

Those may be your three biggest money saving tips, but there are more.

You also want to tune your car. A poorly tuned car can use up to 25 percent more gas.

Also, check tire pressure frequently and keep tires properly inflated. You can lose up to six percent in gas mileage for every single pound your tire is under-inflated.

Plus, don't carry unnecessary items in your car. Every 250 extra pounds eats up an extra mile per gallon.

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