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

12 More Tips for Stretching a Tank of Gas

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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.


submitted to Discussion List by Nancy green

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2 thoughts on “12 More Tips for Stretching a Tank of Gas”

  1. the only one of these that no longer applies is the air conditioning one. after conducting tests, the society of automotive engineers (sae) determined in a study that the drag on the vehicle caused by having the windows down, uses more fuel than having the windows up so the vehicle cuts through the air more efficiently. the reduction can be up to 20% more fuel used over air conditioning.

    A few others I did not see were do not “warm up” the car for more than a minute in the winter. As long as the oil viscosity is correct, the car warms more efficiently while driving.

    Speed up and slow down over longer period of time. If you see the light ahead 1/2 mile turn red, start coasting and more than likely, by the time you get to it, it will be green and you can keep rolling. Stomping on the accelerator to get up to speed in 10 seconds vs doing so over 30-45 seconds wastes fuel.

    Be a little more patient and save more fuel.

    Most vehicles now days are designed to be most efficient around 55 mph. For every 5 mph you go over that, it is estimated you waste $0.25 per gallon.

    Hope these help.

  2. Take the first available parking spot. Even better if you park pointing out and not have to back up. Don’t start your car to leave until you have a clear path to do so.


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