Everyone is looking for ways to reduce “gas pains” from high fuel costs. There are some easy things you can do to put yourself on the road to the gas economy.
• Light on the Pedal-Ease on the accelerator when you start from a red light. Your car will run leaner and won’t use as much gas. On the highway, run about five miles under the posted speed limit to save.
• Crank the A/C-It used to be true that not using the air-conditioning (A/C) in warmer months would save on fuel economy. That’s not true anymore. With the aerodynamics of today’s vehicles, by turning off the A/C the resistance created by the wind causes more drag on the vehicle when the windows are rolled down.
• Use the Right Fuel-Never use a higher octane gasoline than your engine needs. It’s like trying to put 16 ounces of fluid into a 12-ounce glass. Use the right octane and you can save about a dime or more per gallon at each fill-up.
• Keep Up the Pressure-Make sure you have the correct pressure in each of your tires. With too little air in the tires, the friction that it takes to roll the car is much greater, thus reducing fuel economy.
• Keep It Clean-Keep your engine clean of debris by changing its oil and fuel filter.
• Get It In Gear-Most modern transmissions are electronically operated by controllers. Transmission fluid that’s broken down may keep your car from going into its highest gear. Have the transmission fluid changed in the 36,000 to 50,000-mile range.
• Stir It Up-There are lots of different gadgets on the market that claim to increase fuel economy. In all of our testing, we have virtually found no improvement in anything, with one exception. It is a device called Tornado that’s put into the air intake, closest to the throttle plate, and stimulates the air to get it really turbulent. That causes a good fuel atomization within the engine itself that caused an increase in fuel economy in the applications we tested by an average of one to two miles per gallon.
With gas prices over $2 and approaching the $3 mark, if you can save one or two miles per gallon every time you fill up, that can translate to about $300 or $400 of savings per year under normal driving conditions. I think everybody’s interested in that.