Top Seven Tips to Save Money at the Fuel Pump

by : Tom Kline

Here are some simple ways to save money by improving your fuel economy-no matter what you drive.

1.Regular check-ups pay off at the pump.The professionals at RK Buick report that skipping recommended maintenance leads to fouled spark plugs and clogged air and fuel filters.

Clean oil, fresh spark plugs a well-tuned motor, and properly inflated tires coupled with the right octane gas for your car keep it healthy and saves you money.

2.Keeping your cool - windows up or down?Open windows or air conditioning in hot weather? It depends, says the service team at RK Buick.

Running an air conditioner consumes extra fuel, but driving with rolled down windows leads to drag on the vehicle. Ideally leave windows open when driving slowly in traffic. For highway driving, roll up the windows and turn on the air conditioning.

3.Get the junk out of your trunk. Hauling excess weight wastes gas. Every extra 100 lbs reduces fuel economy approximately two percent; a loaded roof rack by five percent. Eliminate excess cargo by emptying out trunks, back seats, and roof carriers.

4.A steady pace wins the fuel-economy race. Speeding cuts into gas mileage. RK Auto Group says you'll see a 7 percent decrease in fuel-economy for every 5 mph you drive over 65 mph.

Aggressive behavior-such as screeching to a halt or accelerating quickly from a dead stop-can decrease fuel-economy by 33 percent. Save gas by driving at an even speed.

5.Kick it into high gear.For the greatest fuel efficiency drive in the highest gear possible when cruising at a steady speed on the highway. (This also reduces engine wear.)

6.Avoid cruise control on hills and lower your gas bills. RK Buick says to think about the approaching terrain before you push cruise control.

Cruise control improves gas mileage by maintaining a steady speed-but only on flat roads. Using cruise control on hilly terrain typically uses more gas then if you were operating the accelerator yourself.

7.Keep your engine properly tuned.If your engine is experiencing hard starts, rough idling, or stalling, it could have a negative impact on fuel efficiency. Nine times out of ten, the problem stems from something basic like worn spark plugs, a dirty air filter, or bad ignition wires.

Taking care of the trouble early is not only likely to improve your gasoline mileage - it will also prevent minor problems from becoming expensive repairs later on.