What’s the story behind low-rolling-resistance tires?

Car manufacturers, especially those who create hybrid cars, pay careful attention to fuel efficiency and look at everything possible to increase it, including combining electric motors with gas engines, the weight of a car, the materials used to make it and also its aerodynamics. In the last few years however they have also devoted quite a bit of time to something that most people hadn’t even thought of; their car’s tires.

Indeed, hybrids have been rolling off the factory floor with “low rolling resistance” tires for a few years including makes from Toyota, Lexus, Ford and Honda among others. All of these carmakers have realized that where the “rubber meets the road” they can actually squeeze out a few extra miles with the right tires.

So what exactly are low rolling resistance tires? In the most basic terms, they are simply tires that are harder than regular tires. They use a harder rubber compound and, due to this, roll easier. With a lowered rolling resistance, most automobiles will thus save fuel because their engine or electric motor will have to work less to keep their car moving forward.

Before rushing out to buy a new set of low rolling resistance tires for your car  you’d best take a little time to understand the advantages and some disadvantages that they have.

Increased mileage is the main advantage of course. The reason car manufacturers are using them on all of their new hybrid vehicles is because of this, but the question is how much will they save you if you put them onto your regular car once your tires have worn down enough that they need to be replaced. It’s been shown that the average automobile will typically increase their MPG by 1 to 2 miles per gallon which, on the surface, it seems to be insignificant but actually amounts to about a $300 savings per year, depending on how much you drive.

One of the major disadvantages to low rolling resistance tires is that, since they’re harder, they also produce a bit more noise on the road and a ride that’s a bit rougher than normal. In some cases they can actually reduce your car’s handling performance and even increase the distance your car needs to come to a complete stop when you’re braking. Most of the major manufacturers are hard at work figuring out ways around these disadvantages.  Keep in mind that some tires are better at solving them than others.

If you already own a hybrid car than you already are enjoying the extra fuel efficiency that these new tires can provide. If you are looking to increase your MPG and possibly by your own set of low rolling resistance tires for your existing car, make sure to do your due diligence and research before you make your final decision. Just like purchasing a set of “regular” tires, low rolling resistance tires aren’t exactly cheap but they can make a big difference in your car’s performance and handling and thus should not be a decision you take lightly.

Don’t let the Fuelshark take a bite out of your wallet

Today we have a quick little blog about a new gadget that’s been seen on the market recently called the Fuelshark. Generally speaking we’re pretty nice around this blog and don’t go around bashing companies or their products and services but in this case were definitely going to make an exception.

If you’ve ever seen this product will know that it purports to save you up to 10% or more on your gasoline expenses simply by taking the small Fuelshark device and plugging it directly into your car’s cigarette lighter.

The only problem is that the Fuelshark costs approximately $40 and, in effect, does absolutely nothing besides make your wallet or purse a bit lighter.

One online reviewer had this to say about the Fuelshark. “Seriously, you could plug an olive into your 12 V socket and get similar results to what the Fuelshark does.”

This same reviewer goes on to mention that besides the Fuelshark there are dozens of other products on the market that are promoting fuel savings and delivering nothing of the sort. He mentions a product called the Fuel Doctor that had similar results, which is to say that it did absolutely nothing.

In order to understand the claims that the manufacturer of the Fuel shark is making, and try to understand why they were claiming that it could save a person 10% or more on their gasoline bill, a number of online reviewers have actually used the device in testing and even taken it apart to see what makes it tick.

First the company claims that the Fuelshark works in two distinctly different ways. It says that it maintains your car’s electrical performance at an optimum level and that your car’s mpg will improve and your vehicle will run better if the voltage in your car is stable. They also claim that your car will have better power and cleaner emissions.

On every single website that had tested the Fuelshark they found that the device could do nothing that the package was claiming or that the advertising alluded to. The reason is simply this; the hardware inside the Fuelshark device is not capable, in any way, shape or form, of doing anything the package claims. Not only that but anyone with even the most basic of background in electronics would know this immediately.

Basically what these reviewers are saying is that not only does the Fuelshark  NOT deliver on its claims, there is no physical way that the components that make up the device can give any of the claimed the results. It’s physically impossible.

The biggest problem here, and the reason that the company that makes the Fuelshark can get away with selling this worthless device, is that people all over the United States are desperately looking for anything that they can use to improve their MPG and lower their monthly gasoline cost. It’s just another example of a fly-by-night company taking advantage of people’s gullibility and desperation. If you’re reading this, make sure to share it with as many people as possible so that these crooks won’t get away with fleecing more people.

Popular Mechanics magazine puts the smack down on ‘fuel saving’ gadgets

Popular Mechanics is one of the best magazines on the market for not only learning about new gadgets and gizmos but also getting the lowdown on what works and, more importantly, what doesn’t.

For many of us the huge increase in gas prices over the last few years has put a definite dent in our budgets and were all looking for gadgets that will help to increase our gas mileage and reduce the staying at the gas pump.

The only problem is that this desperation to save money on gas has allowed a new group of, ahem, opportunists to come along and offer us fuel saving gadgets that they say will do exactly what we want; increase our gas mileage and decrease our gasoline costs.

There’s only one problem; Popular Mechanics magazine has tested most of them and found out that none of them actually work.

They tested all of the gadgets that you’ll find in the next few paragraphs at the Universal Technical Institute in Houston using full-size pickup trucks. They of course did everything like you would expect and measured, quantified and noted everything down. The results of all of their tests are below.

Miracle Magnets. PM tested two of these gadgets but there are literally dozens of them on the market. All of them claim to improve fuel economy while reducing emissions and also increasing a car’s horsepower. What PM found is that neither of the two had any significant effect on either economy, performance or horsepower.  Miracle indeed.

Vortex Generators. These devices supposedly mix your car’s fuel more thoroughly with air and help it to burn more completely, thus giving you better mileage. The problem is that the turbulence that they create actually causes a reduced amount of air to be sucked into the manifold and a resultant decrease in power. Even worse, what PM found is that one of the two that they tested reduced horsepower by more than 10% while another actually increased fuel consumption by almost 20%. It seems that all they generate is frustration.

Engine Ionizer. When PM tested the Electronic Engine Ionizer they noted that the manufacturer refers to something called “capacitor blocks” but, in reality, there were no capacitors in the product. Instead what they found was that, since this device is intended to carry a charge from one cylinder plug wire to the electrodes of the other plugs, it was causing cross firing between the cylinders, something that any car mechanic will tell you is not a good thing at all. Not only that but they didn’t even get through their test before the Engine Ionizer began to melt and fill the engine compartment with smoke. Definitely a bust.

Vapor Injectors. What this device purports to do is convert raw fuel into fuel vapor outside of the engine and increase ‘atomization’ of the fuel. What PM found is that some cylinders were getting more fuel than others, causing some of them to run rich (not good). They also found that there was no change in power and fuel economy was completely unchanged. If you’ve ever heard that someone is “running on vapor” you know it’s not a good thing and neither is this gadget.

Water Injection. Developed for fighter planes during World War II, this technology is being used by a company that makes a water injection system called AquaTune. This is a device whose creators claim that it produces ‘hydrogen rich bubbles’ in your fuel and increases fuel economy. In testing not only did PM find that this wasn’t true but they found that their test trucks were getting 20 fewer horsepower and 20% poorer fuel economy as well. It seems that this technology should have stayed in the 20th century.

When all was said and done the engineers and scientists (and car dudes) at Popular Mechanics magazine had tested quite a few different gadgets and found that not a single one of them worked at all. If you are considering purchasing any type of gadget for your car that says it will increase your mileage, your fuel economy or your horsepower, do yourself a favor and think again. If the guys from Popular Mechanics magazine couldn’t figure them out, what chance do we mere mortals have? (That would be none)

Testing the Tips – How the Gas Saving Tips actually Measure Up

Unless you live in Siberia and use snowshoes to get around, you’re probably aware that gas prices are at an all-time high. You’re probably also aware that, no matter where you look, there are tips for how to save gas, how to increase your MPG and how to save money at the gas pump.

The big question however is, do these tips and advice really work? Recently the most popular tips were put to the test and the results are below. Take a look at them and you’ll see which ones you should follow and which one you should ignore. Enjoy.

  1. Aggressive driving versus moderate driving. The results here showed the potential for big savings and basically show that, if you drive more like your grandmother then a testosterone fueled 18-year-old, you’ll save up to 30% on your gasoline costs.
  2. Driving slower. This one has the potential to save you big bucks as well, although not nearly as much as number 1. By driving between 55 and 65 mph, especially on long trips, you can save upwards of 14% on your gasoline cost.
  3. Using cruise control on long trips. This is another excellent way to save money and, like driving slower, you can save upwards of 14% but, to be honest, most people will average a savings of about 7% when using cruise control on long trips. Using cruise control is also a great way to make sure that you don’t speed, which will save you quite a bit of money in traffic tickets.
  4. Using the AC as opposed to keeping the windows open. As much as this one has been touted to be a great way to save money on gas, using the air-conditioning or keeping the windows open generally costs about the same amount of money. If you have air-conditioning in your car and it’s hot outside, you might as well use it because if you don’t you’ll just be hot but you won’t save any money.
  5. Keeping your tires properly inflated. While it’s important to make sure that you keep your tires inflated at the proper PSI, the fact is that if they’re a little bit over or under the recommended number your gasoline usage is really going to be about the same. The important point here is that, unless you want to purchase expensive tires more often, it’s a good idea to keep your tires properly inflated at all times so that they don’t wear down prematurely.
  6. Idling your car for long periods of time. This one is a big gasoline, and money, waster and, if you’re going to be stopped for more than 60 seconds, it’s best to turn off your engine. Not only does excessive idling waste a lot of gas but it’s also quite harmful to the environment.
  7. Regular versus premium gas. This one is actually huge. Unless your car specifically calls for premium gasoline the simple fact is that buying regular is just fine and buying premium is definitely a waste of money. When you consider that the difference between regular and premium is about 30%, the savings if you use regular instead of the ‘good stuff’ can literally amount to thousands of dollars a year.
  8. Getting rid of excess weight. Tests showed that if your car has 100 pounds or more of stuff in the trunk, you’re going to be decreasing your MPG by 10 to 15%. That’s a big amount and means that, unless you really need that weight set, those bricks or those bags of sand in your car, you definitely should get rid of them. (If it’s wintertime and you live where there’s a lot of snow it’s okay but just make sure to take them out come springtime.)

And there you have it. Some of the biggest tips that you’re going to hear about online, in car magazines and so forth, laid out for you to see with no bias and no BS. If you’ve been using some of these tips and saving money because of it, that’s great news but, if some of them aren’t giving you the boost in mileage that you hoped for, now you know why.

When it comes to saving money on gas, you have to think outside the pump

If you search the Internet you’ll find plenty of blogs about driving tips and techniques that will save you money on gasoline and increase your car’s mpg. Our blog today goes into somewhat newer territory and explores other tips, techniques and tasks that you can accomplish that should positively affect your fuel economy and, hopefully, save you even more money when you’re filling up your tank. Enjoy.

  • As more and more people purchase hybrid automobiles, owner groups are being formed in cities all over the globe. Some of the topics that they discuss are efficient driving techniques and ways to increase fuel economy and decrease emissions. Even if you don’t own a hybrid you’re welcome to attend and possibly glean some information and a tip or two for yourself.
  • Although this may start an argument or two, if you’re part of a couple and you go everywhere together, the most efficient driver of the two should do the most driving. (We are not taking sides, seriously.)
  • Most people like to fuss and complain about how much gas costs but very few will take the time to actually track their fuel consumption. Without this information it’s going to be very difficult to see if all of your tactics are improving your car’s fuel economy. There are a number of apps that you can use to help you if you have a mobile smartphone and, even if you don’t, you can keep track of what you’re spending, the amount of miles you’re getting and the amount of gallons of gas you’re purchasing in a small notebook. Use those numbers and some simple math to figure out what mpg your car’s getting and track it to see if it gets any better as your driving habits improve.
  • Many of today’s newer cars have a fuel consumption display and, if yours has one, the feedback that it can give you can help you to lower your cars consumption of gasoline. With this type of display you can not only track individual trips but, with some, portions of trips and keep track of how well your car’s doing. (And how well you are driving.)
  • If you have the option (and not everyone does) choosing to use roads that have less traffic will give you more opportunity to employ fuel saving tactics and techniques like hypermiling. Even a route that is technically longer may actually save you money if you have a lot less stopping and starting.
  • If efficient driving has an enemy it’s the person that is always in a rush to get somewhere because they’re always late. If you’re driving somewhere in a rush you will certainly not have the extra time (or patience) to use money-saving driving techniques. Better to leave a little bit early and give yourself time to get where you’re going at a regular and relaxed pace.
  • A very interesting effect can happen on the highway when many cars are traveling together at a constant rate of speed. It’s called the corridor effect and it’s basically a man-made breeze that, like a tailwind on an airplane, will  give your car a little extra boost and your mpg as well.
  • Do you frequent fast food restaurants like McDonald’s, Burger King, Chick-fil-A and the like? If you do, the best way to save gas is to park your car and go in, even if you’re not planning on eating inside the restaurant. Unless you’re the only person in line the chance of waiting in line, engine idling the entire time and wasting gas is high if you use the drive-through.
  • If you’re on a highway with 2 lanes or more, always choose the lane that has the least amount of traffic so that you can avoid unnecessary braking and sometimes unpredictable changes in speed and direction.
  • If you can, avoid driving in bad weather of any kind as any type of precipitation, as well as high winds, can dramatically decrease your car’s gas mileage.
  • The same can be said for rush-hour traffic which, if possible, should be avoided like the next new Adam Sandler movie. (Sorry but Jack and Jill was atrocious.) The stop and go traffic that accompanies rush-hour is not only detrimental to your car’s fuel consumption but also to your mental health. (Just like Jack and Jill !)

We have a lot more tips just like these that were going to be bringing you over the next few days so make sure to come back soon and get your daily fill of all the best, money-saving, mpg increasing driving tips around. See you then.

Fuel Saving Tips that aren’t really going to make a difference in your car’s mpg

With the price of gasoline going ever higher, drivers are looking high and low for tips that will help increase their MPG and reduce the amount they spend for gasoline. While this is actually a good thing, the fact is that there are many tips being circulated that claim to reduce your car’s gas consumption and increase its MPG but aren’t actually doing much of anything. With that in mind we thought we’d take a look at some of these ‘tips’ and expose them for what they are; bad tips. Enjoy.

Practically every fuel saving tip blog talks about how vital it is to check and replace your car’s air filter regularly. In fact, tests performed by several different testing companies have found that dirty air filters actually no longer have much of an impact on the mpg of the newer cars that are being made today. The reason is that today’s modern car engines are computer-controlled, and the amount of air that’s coming in is precisely controlled as well. When you reduce airflow, your car’s engine automatically reduces the amount of fuel that uses. Most tests did note that, while fuel economy didn’t change significantly, acceleration did and was slower when a car’s air filter was dirty.

In years past it was necessary to warm up your car before taking it out for a spin, especially in winter. That was during the days of chokes and carburetors but, with today’s modern fuel injected and electronically controlled vehicles, it’s just not necessary. The fact is, today’s car engines are at their most efficient when they’re operating at their normal temperature, and if you want to reach that normal temperature quickly the best thing to do is start driving right after you start up the car.

One ‘tip’ that’s very common to find says that filling up in the morning is best as the weather will be cooler and you’ll actually benefit by getting more gasoline at that time. The theory behind this is that, when gasoline is cooler, it will be denser and you’ll get more for your money. The truth however is, since gasoline is stored in large tanks underground, its temperature changes very little no matter what time of the day it is. Whether you purchase in the morning, the afternoon or late at night, any difference in the actual amount of gasoline that you get will be negligible at best.

One common misconception is that ‘no name’ gasoline, generally sold by independent gas stations, isn’t as good as gasoline that you can purchase at a well-known, brand named station. The fact is that, although it sometimes formulated with different additives that are designed to help the engine stay clean, off-brand gasoline has not been shown to cause any significant changes to normally operating vehicles.

One of the biggest myths about gasoline is that premium is the best to buy for all cars and will give all cars a boost in MPG. Indeed, the big oil corporations have been working overtime to get consumers to believe in the good, better or best types of gasoline, drilling it into our collective psyche for the last two decades at least.

While premium gasoline will definitely maximize power in high-performance car engines, drivers of cars with regular engines will never notice a difference and should definitely use regular as the cost of regular is generally about 25% less than the cost of premium gasoline. If you are the lucky owner of a high-end luxury car, a high-end sports car or any other type of vehicle that would fit into these two classes, premium is usually recommended by the maufacturer. For all else, regular is just as good.

There’s long been a debate between whether it’s best to open the windows and not use the air-conditioning or close them and keep your car cool. Several recent tests using a Honda Accord showed that, at 65 mph, it’s MPG was reduced by about .05%. (Practically nothing.) The same vehicle, driven at the same speed with the windows open, had no measurable effects whatsoever.

One final ‘tip’ concerns low rolling resistance tires. While it is true that less tire hitting the road will create less friction, it’s been shown that the increase in MPG is practically insignificant. Not only that but, since low rolling resistance tires give up a little bit of braking performance and have a poorer tread, it’s not a worthy trade-off (in our humble opinion).

There are definitely a lot of things that you can do to save money on gasoline, including making sure that you maintain your car, keep your tires properly inflated, keep your speed below 60 mph and many others. Use those and focus your energies on them because the ones that we listed above definitely aren’t worth your time.

The ‘Truth’ about Gas-Saving” Products

It seems that every time gas prices increase the number of products on the market that say they will help you save gas increases also. There are plenty of practical steps that you can take to save gasoline, to be sure, but many people are still wanting to increase their gas savings further and can sometimes fall victim to advertisements for products that sound great but usually are not. The fact is, most of the products on the market today that are being sold to help people save gas don’t actually work or, at best, save only a very small amount of gas.

As with anything in life it’s always a good idea to be skeptical and, when it comes to gas saving devices, it may be a good idea to be more than just a little skeptical. Some of the claims that you should be on the lookout for include the ones that were going to talk about below. Enjoy.

Many ads will tell you that they have a product that ‘improves fuel economy by 20%’ or some other impressive number. It sure sounds great but the fact is that, despite testing or at least evaluating more than 100 devices that allegedly save gas, the EPA has not found a single one that will significantly improve your gas mileage. Even worse, some of these products have been found to actually increase exhaust emissions, something that’s not so great for the planet, and also damage your car’s engine.

Some products will tell you that after you install them in your car will get more miles per gallon. These ads usually feature excellent and glowing testimonials from customers who are incredibly satisfied but, the fact is, very few people have the equipment or the knowledge to be able to test and make sure that the claimed increase in mileage is actually being achieved. There are so many variables that affect fuel consumption, including road conditions, your car’s condition, traffic conditions and much more.

One of the worst examples of this are testimonials that are based on products that were installed at the same time that a car had a complete tune-up, something that of course is never mentioned in the testimonial. The increased gas mileage could very well be attributed to the tune-up rather than the product that was installed.

Many manufacturers will try get you to believe that their product is ‘approved by the federal government’. This is actually a blatant lie as the federal government does not endorse a single ‘gas saving’ product for any automobile. About the most that any company can say is that their product has been evaluated by the EPA and, if this is the case, you can ask them for their EPA report or go online and see if they are listed on the EPA.gov website.

One factor that is practically impossible to tell is how a fuel saving product will affect your car in the long run. While the EPA evaluates some products to see if they will improve (or hurt) your fuel economy, they don’t test for the effects that the product will have on your vehicle over time. Today’s new cars have emission control systems that are incredibly sophisticated and, in many cases, retrofit products that you put on your car to save gas may very well damage or negatively affect the systems.

At the end of the day if you’ve purchased a gas saving product that doesn’t appear to be working (which is really not a big surprise) the first thing that you should do is contact the manufacturer and ask that your money be refunded. The majority of companies that make these products offer money back guarantees and, if they do and your product isn’t working, you should definitely take advantage of the guarantee. Besides that you can also contact the consumer protection agency in your city and also file a complaint with the FTC.

Can you Increase Your Gas Mileage by 70 Percent?

One of the most popular programs on the Discovery Channel is a show called MythBusters featuring two FX/scientist/nerd type dudes that put myths, mostly urban, to the test to see if they hold up. On a recent show they decided to try and bust the myth that ‘hypermiling’ could double a car’s fuel economy. (Hypermiling is a technique that some people use to get the most miles out of a tank of gas.)

To test their theory they used two cars, one a newer sedan and the other an older coupe, and drove them on 3 gallons of gas to see exactly how far that they can go. They then used hypermiling techniques to do the same thing and to see what would happen.

At the end of the show what they found was very interesting. The newer car was able to get 30 miles more using hypermiling techniques, an improvement over 21.3 mpg. The older car went up a surprising 70% further, increasing its mpg from 26 to almost 46. While technically the hypermiling myth was busted, the fact remains that a 70% increase in fuel economy is pretty darned impressive.

The driving techniques and the car modifications that they made were all legal in California (that’s where the show was shot) meaning that they will probably be legal for most people in other states as well. Of course, checking with your state to make sure would probably be a good idea.

In any case, below are some of the hypermiling tips and tricks that they used and that you can use also if you’d like to improve the mpg of your own car. Keep in mind that these are the techniques and tactics that the folks on MythBusters used and that we’re not exactly espousing any of them.

First, never drive over 45 mph. This includes while you’re on the highway as well and, even though you might make a few enemies while doing it, you’ll definitely use a lot less fuel.

As anything that sticks out or off of your car creates wind resistance, removing the passenger side mirror as well as roof racks or anything else that creates drag will increase your mileage and decrease your gas usage.

At the foundation of hypermiling is the notion that you should practically avoid braking at all costs and avoid rapid acceleration the same way. This means that you’re going to be driving slower, breaking glass and looking as far ahead as possible so that you’ll know exactly what’s coming,

On MythBusters, every time they were at a stop they turned off the car’s engine. This certainly helped to lower the amount of gas they were using per gallon but, in real life, may cause people to become ‘frustrated’ with you, to say the least.

They also kept the windows completely up to reduce drag and turned the A/C off. While this may work in some states, in other states like Nevada, Texas and Florida it’s probably a bit too hot to do this.

Not long ago MythBusters tested the myth about angry drivers using more gas. Their results said yes and it’s become part of hypermiling lore. People who drive angry or stressed usually drive faster and more recklessly, two things that will use more gas. Relaxing and taking if you deep breaths is probably a better solution.

Drafting, the technique of driving closely behind a bigger vehicle like a van or truck, has also been found to lower your car’s gas consumption. Of course, it can also be a little dangerous and some hypermiling advocates think it should be avoided.

The same can be said for over-inflating your tires by 10%. While you may get a little bit better gas mileage, the fact is that tires are one of the most expensive parts to replace on a car. The savings that you may receive from over inflating them will more than likely not be enough to cover the damage that you’re doing and the cost of a new set of 4.

Finally, they reduced the weight in both cars on the show to practically nothing besides the driver. If any of the techniques are a surefire way to lower gas consumption, reducing the weight in your car as much as possible is  definitely it. Get rid of maps, golf clubs,  half full gallons of washing fluid and anything else that you don’t need while on the road.

At the end of the day some of these techniques may be quite practical and some not. Removing your side view mirror, drafting behind a huge truck and over-inflating your tires may actually be dangerous enough that you shouldn’t consider them. All of the other techniques are definitely worth a try however, and with gasoline averaging $4.00 a gallon nationwide, today may be a good day to start.

More Tips for Saving Money on Gas

No matter where you live in the United States, everyone has been affected by rising gas prices. It doesn’t matter what kind of car you drive, how many miles you drive or any other driving habit in particular, filling up still hurts your pocketbook. In order to reduce some of the pain, we’ve put together another blog with some more excellent gas and money saving tips. Use them and the sting of filling up won’t be as sharp. Enjoy.

When you’re actually standing in front of the pump, it’s a good idea to know the octane level that’s recommended for your car so that you don’t use an octane that’s either higher than you need or too low and can cause mechanical problems. The fact is however that most cars will run just fine on regular gas and, unless you’re driving a finely tuned sports car, anything above regular is a waste of money.

There are a number of mobile phone apps that you can download that will help you find the cheapest gas in your particular town. GasBuddy is one of the best and is updated by actual members throughout the day. Some gas stations will have a weekly special or a day of the week when you can get a discount, so make sure you keep your eyes open for those.

If you have good credit and you can pay off your credit card at the end of the month, one that offers cash-back for gas purchases might be a great idea. Of course you’ll need to check the fine print to make sure that fees, interest rates and other charges don’t outweigh the rewards that you get.

Very few cars these days need to be warmed up, even in the coldest weather. In fact, it’s best to start driving as soon as you start your engine as it will actually warm up faster once you’re moving. The warmer your engine the less gas that it will use.

Although several states will allow you to drive over 60 mph, mileage experts believe that most cars began to rapidly lose mileage above that speed. In fact, it’s been determined that for every 5 mph you drive over 60 mph, your spending approximately $.24 more for every gallon of gas.

Idling your car for long periods of time, like when you’re sitting waiting for your children to get done with school, not only wastes a ton of fuel but also contributes heavily to air pollution. If you’re going to be sitting for more than 30 seconds, your best bet is to turn off the engine and open the Windows. You’ll save gas and save the planet at the same time.

Using cruise control is an excellent way to save fuel as you won’t be depending on your foot to keep your car traveling at a regular rate of speed, something that’s vital to conserving gas.

While jackrabbit starts aren’t going to be beneficial for your MPG, will you don’t want to take too long to get up to speed either. Higher gears in your engine will use less gas and so getting up to a speed where your engine switches gears is important. Will

As for air-conditioning, recent studies have shown that, over 55 mph, having the windows open will actually use more gas than using the air-conditioning. Below that speed the savings aren’t exactly spectacular and thus, if it’s really hot out, you should probably just keep the windows up and use the AC.

A properly tuned automobile is always going to use less gas and thus keeping your car’s engine tuned, changing the gas every 5000 miles and keeping the tires properly inflated and aligned are going to definitely save you money not just for gas but for car repairs as well.

One last note; manufacturers have rushed tons of new products to market that will promise to improve your gas mileage in a myriad of different ways. The EPA has actually tested the vast majority of these devices and products and found that very few of them provide any benefit. In fact, they found some that made things worse and also caused a big increase in air fouling exhaust emissions.

The fact is, if you keep your car tuned and purchase gas from a reputable station, your MPG is probably going to be as good as it gets. Many of the tips above will only save you a small amount of gas but, when you combine all of them together, you could actually be looking at a substantial savings. The more of them that you can fit into your driving habits, the better.

Fuel Saving Tips to beat the Gas Crunch Part 4 of 4

Hello and welcome back for the final blog in our 4-Part series entitled Fuel Tips on how to Beat the Gas Crunch. In the first 3 blogs that we have presented there were a slew of excellent tips that, by now, should already have started helping you to cut down on fuel use and spend less money on gasoline. Today’s final blog is more of the same so, if you’re ready for the last of our excellent gas saving tips, we’re ready to give them to you. Enjoy.

Stay in tune. This might be one of the most vital tips that we’re going to give you. Keeping your car tuned up and running in top condition is one of the best ways to use less gas and thus save money on gasoline. Regular oil changes are a good start as well as having all of the major systems checked at the same time. Between tune-ups at your local garage you should also check fluid levels and anything else that you can easily take a look at yourself. Frankly, most of today’s new cars don’t have very much so your regular tune-ups are going to be even more important.

Oil me up. There are many types of oil that you can use in your car but the most recommendable is synthetic engine oil as long as it fits with your vehicle’s manufacturer recommendations. Synthetic oils will lower your engines turning resistance, helping it to handle higher temperatures without breaking down and increase your mileage by up to 10%. Follow your car’s manufacturer recommended specifications or the recommendations of your trusted mechanic and you should be fine.

Wax on, wax off. While this may only save you a miniscule amount of gas, keeping your car nicely waxed will cut down on wind resistance and thus fuel usage. With today’s prices being so high anything that you can do to decrease the damage that gasoline will do to your wallet is a good idea.

Perfect timing. Today many traffic lights have pedestrian countdown clocks that let people on foot no how long it will be until the light changes. Smart drivers can also use these countdown clocks to gauge whether or not they will make it through the upcoming traffic light and thus either start coasting or stay at speed and make it through.

Slow food. If you frequently go to the drive-in at your favorite fast food restaurant only to find that there are several people in line you’d do better to park the car and go in to order your food. This may take you a few extra minutes but, depending on how often you go, could actually save you quite a bit of fuel. In many cases you may actually get your food and get back out into traffic faster than if you would have waited on line, idling and wasting your time and gas.

Cruising and losing. How often have we seen someone aimlessly driving around a parking lot looking for a space that was ‘closer’ to the entrance of the store that they were keen on visiting. Not only does this waste time it wastes gas. Better to find a spot quickly and park right away, even if you have to walk a little extra. Besides, the walk will do you good. (Remember  to pull through so that you can pull out going forward rather than having to back out and use more gas.)

Take the long way home. We’ve already told you how combining short trips into one longer trip is a good idea. Even better is to go to the furthest destination on your list first because your car’s engine will then have the time to heat up to its maximum efficiency and operating temperature, saving you gas on the rest of the short trips you’ve combined together.

The deep end of the pool. Carpooling as a way to save gas is certainly not a new idea but it’s an idea that is very valuable indeed. Not only can you save a huge amount of gas but your car will also need less maintenance and so you’ll save money on that as well. Carpooling is also an excellent way to make fast friends with your neighbors and even get some work done while you’re on your way into work. (Or waste a little time on FaceBook if that floats your boat. Your call.)

Road relaxed.  If you are an overly aggressive driver, constantly accelerating rapidly and braking hard, you should know that you’re wasting tons of gas. How much gas? How about up to 33% on the highway and nearly 10% when you’re driving around town. Aggressive driving not only wastes gas but is dangerous and quite rude so, unless you like being rude, wasting gas and  putting your neighbors at risk, slow down a little and listen to some relaxing music instead while you’re driving.

Start saving. Today’s modern automobiles start extremely easily. What this means is that there is no need whatsoever to push down on the accelerator when you start your car. It’s not only unnecessary but it’s also quite hard on your engine and wastes a lot of fuel. A fuel injected engine can actually be started without touching the accelerator pedal whatsoever. Mashing down on the accelerator will wear your engine down prematurely and also shorten the life of your starter along with increasing your gas costs.

Follow me (but not too close). If you are the type of person that likes to tailgate you’re not only a bit rude (sorry but we call it like we see it) but also are wasting gas because you’re going to have to brake more often. You’d be better to leave a few car lengths between you and the car ahead of you so that, if you need to brake, you can instead just cruise and let your car’s inertia carry you until you can safely accelerate again.

We truly hope that this series of blogs has been helpful and that you’ve already started seeing some savings at the gas pump. Frankly, we don’t see gas prices dropping anytime soon so using as many of these tips as possible is going to make it a lot easier on your wallet. Until next time, drive safely, drive intelligently and make sure to drive your mouse back to our website soon because we’re always bringing you great tips on saving money, finances, investing and entrepreneurship. It’s all great stuff and we bring it to you because we care. See you soon.

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