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Gas Saving Tips

With the cost of fuel reaching record highs, the University of Phoenix was nice enough to put together a list of ten fabulous gas saving tips. Whether you’re traveling for business or pleasure, it’s always nice to stretch those gallons a few extra miles. Most of them aren’t exactly rocket surgery, but we can all use a reminder every now and then. These tips are provided by Scott Cain, Economist and University of Phoenix Business Instructor, with exciting commentary provided by yours truly:

  1. Use cruise control on highway trips. Cruise control will help eliminate rapid accelerations and hard braking. (If you’re fatigued, don’t use the cruise. I find that that little extra bit of concentrating on keeping your correct speed helps with the sleepiness. If you’re REALLY fatigued, pull over)
  2. Back to Basics. Make sure to keep your tires properly inflated and stay on top of regular vehicle maintenance. Particularly, special attention should be given to maintaining air filters because diminished air flow increases gas waste. (It is my understanding you should inflate your tires to the MAXIMUM amount of pressure found on the tire wall for the best performance)
  3. Avoid “Jack Rabbit Starts.” When accelerating, start slowly from a dead stop, pushing foot lightly onto the gas pedal. Easing into speed allows your carburetor to function at peak efficiency. (This is a hard thing for me to do. Once that light is green, I want to GO!)
    4. Slow down! The faster a vehicle travels the more gas it burns. (This definitely will not earn you an award for “most popular driver,” but who cares if you save a few bucks?)
    5. Keep windows closed when traveling at high speeds. Open windows cause air drag, reducing your mileage by 10%. (Very Nascar)
    6. Think thin. Packing light for your next trip can help reduce fuel consumption. Excess weight slows the car down, especially on inclines. (Salespeople, you really probably DO need to clean out your trunk. I know, I’ve been there)
    7. Travel at the coolest times of the day. (which is…night). Air conditioners reduce fuel economy by 10 – 20%. By eliminating as much AC use as possible it will result in higher amounts of gas saved. (20% can really add up on long trips)
    8. Avoid rough roads. Dirt and gravel rob you of up to 30% of your gas mileage. (He is obviously NOT from the South making this kind of statement)
    9. Drive at steady speed. Slowing down quickly and speeding up quickly wastes fuel and raises tension levels for other drivers and passengers around you.
    10. Carpool. Saving money on gas is as easy as planning for your trip so that as many people can travel per car as possible. You can enjoy the company of friends while sharing the cost of fuel.

You know what really saves you money on gas? Public transportation. I’m surprised he didn’t include this as an option. I’m from a city where public transportation isn’t readily available, as a many of you in the middle parts of the country. But others really should start taking advantage of the trains, buses and bike share programs available.