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Steps to Save Gas Without Driving Less

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Summer is here, and school is out, and even if you don't have little ones on summer break, it's the perfect time of year to enjoy traveling, including a weekend get-a-way. Whether you travel by car or truck, use premium or diesel gasoline, fuel efficiency can save you tons of money. Proper vehicle maintenance is one of the ways to save gas without driving less.  


"Most motorists don't have the option of driving less when gas prices rise, but they can cancel out the increases by making sure their vehicle is getting maximum fuel economy. Fuel consumption is directly related to vehicle care and driver behavior and both can have a significant impact on how much motorists pay at the pump."

Rich White
Executive Director, Car Care Council

Vehicle Care

 According to The Car Care Council, the vehicle care steps listed below will save gas without driving less.

Tune-up 

  • Keep your car properly tuned to improve gas mileage by an average of 4 percent, and extend the life of your vehicle. Here are the 4 main areas addressed in a tune-up:
    • Ignition
    • Filters
    • Belts and hoses
    • Fluids

A simple breakdown of these 4 Tune-up categories:

  • Ignition:
    • Replace dirty spark plugs, which can reduce mileage by two miles per gallon
    • Plug wires for proper connection and function
    • Coils create the spark to ignite the fuel so the engine will start
    • Timing and idle correction prevents sluggish acceleration and backfiring
  • Filter:
    • Replace dirty or clogged air filters to improve gas mileage by as much as 14 percent
    • Fuel filter protects your engine by screening out particles which come from circulating gas
    • Oil filter protects your engine by screening out particles which come from circulating oil
    • Cabin air filter protects engine from choking or overheating

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  • Belts and hoses for:
    • Alternator keeps battery fully charged
    • Water pump dissipates engine heat
    • Power steering pump
  • Fluids:
    • Change oil regularly and gain another mile per gallon
    • Coolant prevents engine overheating
    • Brake fluid is necessary for lubrication and amplifies braking force
    • Transmission fluid cools and lubricates the transmission
    • Power steering fluid 
Additional maintenance items to check include:
  • Tires:
    • Keep tires properly inflated and improve gas mileage by 3 percent.
    • Balance tires
    • Proper alignment
  • Check the gas cap:
    • Damaged, loose or missing gas caps allow gas to vaporize into the air.

"Some motorists think they are saving money when they put off needed vehicle maintenance... What they don't realize is that neglecting routine maintenance can end up costing a lot more. Keeping your car running efficiently and modifying your driving behavior is the best way to improve your vehicle's fuel economy and keep more money in your pocket."

Rich White
Executive Director, Car Care Council

Driver Behavior

Other ways that fuel efficiency can save you tons of money, is by driving smarter. Here are a few tips to help you become the smartest, most fuel savvy driver ever. 

  • Observe the speed limit:
    • Gas mileage decreases rapidly above 60 mph, so slow and steady wins the race
    • Set the cruise
  • Avoid excessive idling:
    • Idling gets zero miles per gallon
    • Warming up the vehicle for about one minute is sufficient
  • Avoid quick starts and stops:
    • Aggressive driving can lower gas mileage by 33 percent on the highway and 5 percent in the city
  • Consolidate trips:
    • Several short trips taken from a cold start can use twice as much gas as one longer multi-purpose trip
  • Don't haul unneeded items in the trunk:
    • An extra 100 pounds in the trunk reduces fuel economy by 1 to 2 percent


So whether you are going on a long trip far away from home, or just driving back forth to work, by implementing these tips, which include, routine maintenance and driving smarter, you will save gas without driving less. Have a wonderful and safe summer. 

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This article was written with the help and resources from the non-profit Car Care Council. The "Be Car Care Aware" campaign is a consumer education program about the benefits of regular vehicle care, maintenance and repair, designed to provide knowledge from all segments of the automotive aftermarket industry. 

The non-profit Car Care Council is the source of information for the "Be Car Care Aware" consumer education campaign promoting the benefits of regular vehicle care, maintenance and repair to consumers. To view the Car Care Council's consumer education website, visit www.carcare.org 

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