Frugal Living » 12 More Tips for Stretching a Tank of Gas

12 More Tips for Stretching a Tank of Gas

In our original article, in the gas tank: to top or not to top; we mentioned several tricks for saving on vehicle fuel expenses. The savings doesn’t end there though! Given the latest shortages, we thought we’d share a few more tricks.

12 more tips for stretching a tank of gas

two cents You can easily take care of a few items without going to a service station. One of them is the air filter. A clogged air filter leaves your engine gasping for breath and means you’re probably running with a “rich” mixture, that is, more gas and less air.

Many department and auto stores carry air filters, and they are simple to change. A clogged air filter can cost you 1 mpg. Replace your air filter regularly.

gas tank decal

two cents Dirty oil cuts back engine efficiency, so make sure your oil is changed according tot he car manufacturer’s recommended schedule. You can change your own, and buying your own oil is much cheaper.

There’s a drain plug under your engine that will come out readily with a wrench. Have a bucket ready to catch the dirty oil, and remember to dispose of it safely.

two cents If your fan belt is too tight, your engine is working too hard and wasting gas. The belt should give a little to finger pressure when the engine is not running. if it doesn’t, you can easily adjust the tension with a wrench.

two cents Badly worn spark plugs can cost you as much as 2 mpg. This is probably a job for a trained technician.

two cents The car has been a way of life for most Americans. There are alternatives. These include mass transit, bike paths, and car pools.

two cents Heavier cars are more costly to run. A reduction of 200 pounds in automotive weight typically improves fuel economy by nearly 5 percent.

little light of mine

two cents Use the air conditioner in your car as little as possible. It uses a lot of gas. Roll down the windows and get some fresh air!

two cents Using cruise control can save gas. If you drive on the open road often, staying at a constant speed will save fuel.

two cents If you are taking a trip, start early in the day while traffic is light. Plan to stop for meals at times when traffic is heavy.

two cents Don’t let your car idle for a long time to warm it up. Also, don’t let your car idle for more than a minute after it is warmed up – this idling wastes more gas than restarting your car.

two cents Do not rev the engine and then quickly shut your car off. This wastes gas. It also pumps raw gasoline into the cylinder walls. This can wash away a film of oil that protects the cylinders and will increase engine wear.

two cents Check your tires. Your owner’s manual has important information on your tires, including the correct air pressure that should be in them.

Under inflation of your tires can cost you as much as 1 mpg. Radial tires have 50 percent less road resistance, so they give you 3 to 19 percent better mpg.

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