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Get the most gas mileage from your car

Get the most gas mileage from your car


by Terri Gruca

Bio | Email | Follow: @TerriG_KVUE


Posted on May 19, 2010 at 11:34 PM

Updated Wednesday, May 19 at 11:37 PM

It’s almost summer and for many families that means road trip time. You’ve probably heard all kinds of people tell you how to increase your gas mileage.

The federal government and Angie's List have done the calculating to determine how much making certain changes can save you. Here's what they found:

Drive Sensibly. Aggressive driving (speeding, rapid acceleration and braking) wastes gas. It can lower your gas mileage by 33 percent at highway speeds and by 5 percent around town. So use the cruise control when you can.

  • Fuel economy benefit: 5-33%
  • Equivalent gasoline savings: $.14-$.94/gallon

Observe the speed limit. Gas mileage usually decreases rapidly at speeds above 60 mph. Using cruise control helps. You can assume that each 5 mph you drive over 60 mph is like paying an additional $0.24 per gallon for gas.

  • Fuel Economy Benefit: 7-23%
  • Equivalent Gasoline Savings: $.20-$.66/gallon

Remove excess weight. An extra 100 pounds in your vehicle could reduce your MPG by up to 2 percent.

  • Fuel Economy Benefit: 1-2%/100 lbs.
  • Equivalent Gasoline Savings: $.03-$.06/gallon

Maintain your car. Get tune-ups and keep your tires inflated. Keeping your tires inflated to the proper pressure can increase your gas mileage up to 3%. Look on the driver's side door or in your owner's manual for your vehicle's recommended tire pressure.

Don't let your gas tank get too low. Some experts say your fuel pump is located at the bottom of the gas tank which collects sediment from gasoline. When you run your car on low fuel, the pump can pick up the sediment and become damaged which can result in lower fuel efficiency.

To find the most fuel efficient cars check out the latest fuel economy guide which lists vehicles from 1984 to 2010.