Tuesday, May 27, 2008

Saving Gas

So the NTTA (North Texas Toll Authority) posted this helpful list of tips on saving precious fuel. A lot of things we probably already knew but just needed to be reminded of. My commentary is free. =)

Tips to Save Gas and Money
Gas prices are reaching record levels. Since most North Texans rely on their vehicles, it’s important to our customers to conserve fuel. These tips can help motorists save gas (and money).

  • Car pooling is a time-tested way to save fuel and associated expenses.
  • Don't start and stop engine needlessly. Idling your engine for one minute consumes the gas amount equivalent to when you start the engine. (Wow - and I always thought idling was a bad thing!)
  • Accelerate slowly when starting from a dead stop. Don't push pedal down more than 1/4 of the total foot travel. This allows the carburetor to function at peak efficiency. (This DOES make a difference - I've noticed it in my own gas mileage when I gave up my peddle-to-the-metal attitude. Slow deceleration is also helpful & saves brake wear.)
  • Buy gasoline during the coolest time of day, early morning or late evening is best. During these times gasoline is densest. (Gee, dad was right on this one!)
  • Avoid “topping off” the gas tank. Overfilling results in gasoline sloshing over and out of tank. Never fill the gas tank past the first "click" of fuel nozzle, if nozzle is automatic.
  • Slow down. Exceeding 40 mph forces your auto to overcome tremendous wind resistance. Traveling at 55 mph gives you up to 21% better mileage when compared to speed limits of 65 mph and 70 mph. (Going the POSTED speed limit also gives some mileage savings.)
  • Use air conditioning only when necessary. (Yeah right!)
  • Keep windows closed when traveling at highway speeds. Open windows cause air drag, reducing your fuel efficiency by 10%. (See, Derek, told you!)
  • Drive at a steady rate of speed. Slowing down or speeding up wastes fuel. (Another "I told you so")
  • Park car so that you can later begin to travel in forward gear; avoid reverse gear maneuvers to save gas. (Who knew?)
  • Regular tune-ups ensure the best fuel economy; check the owner's manual for recommended maintenance intervals. Special attention should be given to maintaining clean air filters – diminished air flow increases gas waste.
  • Inflate all tires to the maximum limit. Check manufacturer's specifications for maximum tire pressures.
  • Remove excess weight from trunk or inside of car - extra tires, back seats, unnecessary heavy parts. Extra weight reduces fuel efficiency, especially when driving up inclines.

Sources:http://www.epa.gov/OMS/consumer/17-tips.pdf and http://www.howtoadvice.com/savinggas

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