You don’t have to trade in your car for one with better fuel economy to save money at the pump. Most drivers can negate the financial effect of higher fuel prices simply by altering their driving habits and keeping their cars in top shape. Here’s some mileage-boosting advice courtesy of the Car Care Council in Bethesda, M.D.:
Keep your car properly tuned to improve fuel economy by about four percent.
Keep tires properly inflated and improve gas mileage by three percent.
Avoid quick starts and stops. Aggressive driving can lower gas mileage by 33 percent on the highway and five percent in the city.
Avoid excessive idling — this is when a car gets zero mpg.
Consolidate trips — several short trips taken from a cold start can use twice as much gas as one longer multi-purpose trip.
Clear out the trunk — hauling around an extra 100 pounds reduces fuel economy by as much as 2 percent.
Remove a car or truck’s roof rack to reduce aerodynamic drag and improve its fuel economy by about five percent.
— Jim Gorzelany
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