Editorial: Fuel saving tips for Spring

As the warmer weather arrives, many will have the urge to visit local parks, plan trips and get away for long weekends. However, with the price of gasoline rising, it would be wise for vehicle owners to consider the following tips to maximize the efficiency of vehicles before hitting the road.

Drive sensibly

Aggressive driving (speeding, rapid acceleration and braking) wastes gas. It can lower your gas mileage by 33 percent at highway speeds and by five percent around town. Sensible driving is also safer for you and others, so you may save more than gas money.

Observe the speed limit

While each vehicle reaches its optimal fuel economy at a different speed (or range of speeds), gas mileage usually decreases rapidly at speeds above 60 miles per hour. As a rule of thumb, you can assume that each five mph you drive over 60 mph is like paying an additional $0.20 per gallon for gas.

Remove excess weight

Avoid keeping unnecessary items in your vehicle, especially heavy ones. An extra 100 pounds in your vehicle could reduce your miles per gallon by up to two percent. The reduction is based on the percentage of extra weight relative to the vehicle and affects smaller vehicles more than larger ones.

Avoid excessive idling

Idling gets zero miles per gallon. Cars with larger engines typically waste more gas at idle than do cars with smaller engines.

Use cruise control

Using cruise control on the highway helps you maintain a constant speed and, in most cases, will save gas.

Use overdrive gears

When you use overdrive gearing, your car's engine speed goes down. This saves gas and reduces engine wear.

These tips were taken from fueleconomy.gov.

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