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Ask Sid

Tips and Myths on Saving Gas

En español | Q. Thanks for the information about wasting gas while idling the car. What else really saves fuel, and what are just hyped myths?

See Also: Cut Costs at Home

A. The best way to cut fuel costs, of course, is to drive a car that gets good mileage. That said, the easiest way to cut gas costs for any car is to maintain a highway speed of 55 mph. For each 10 mph over that, aerodynamic drag reduces fuel efficiency by around 5 miles per gallon (mpg), according to tests by Consumer Reports on a Toyota Camry.

Other fuel-saving tips:

  • Pay attention to maintenance. Fixing a faulty oxygen sensor, for example, can improve your mileage as much as 40 percent. An improperly tuned car reduces mileage by about 4 percent, according to government tests.
  • Accelerating and braking too fast reduce fuel efficiency by about 3 mpg, according to the Consumer Reports tests.
  • Having tires that are under-inflated by about 10 pounds per square inch decreases fuel efficiency by about 1.5 mpg, according to Consumer Reports.
  • Using the wrong weight of motor oil can reduce efficiency by about 2 percent, so check your owner’s manual. In addition to the correct weight, use types labeled “energy conserving” that contain friction-reducing additives.

 

Read commonly dispensed advice that is actually of little help. >>

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