Washington D.C. — With almost 40 million Americans scheduled to travel more than 50 miles this Independence Day, travel is up, but so are gas prices. There are several steps drivers can take to save on fuel from maintaining their vehicles to driving them more economically. Below are CFA’s top ten gas-saving tips from Jack Gillis, CFA’s Executive Director and author of The Car Book. (Savings are based on June 2018 gas prices.) CFA estimates that if Americans practiced these tips, gas mileage could be improved (in total) by about 13 percent. “Following these tips will be like paying $2.47 per gallon at today’s average of $2.85. Paying less for gas means buying more snow-cones and 4th of July treats,” said Gillis.
10 Tips for Saving At the Gas Pump
Save 99¢ for having a light foot: Riding with your foot on the brake not only wears out brakes but can also reduce gas consumption by as much as 35%. If you kick the habit of driving with your foot on the brake, you’ll get the equivalent of 99 cents per gallon in savings.
Save 54¢ for a smoother drive: The smoother you accelerate and decelerate, the better your gas mileage, with potential gas savings of 33% on the highway and 5% around town. Consumers who currently drive erratically can pocket the equivalent 54 cents a gallon by driving more smoothly.
Save 28¢ for straightening out: Poor alignment not only causes tires to wear out more quickly, but also forces your engine to work harder, which can reduce gas mileage by as much as 10%. Fixing improper alignment would be like saving 28 cents per gallon.
Save 20¢ for taking it slow: For every 5 mph you reduce highway speed, you can reduce fuel consumption by 7%. If you typically drive 70 mph on the highway and slow down to 65 mph, it’s the equivalent of saving 20 cents a gallon.
Save 11¢ for a tune up: A properly tuned engine can improve mileage by 4%, which is like saving 11 cents a gallon.
Save 8¢ for pumping ’em up: More than one-quarter of vehicles have improperly inflated tires. The average under-inflation of 7.5 lbs. causes a loss of 2.8% in fuel efficiency. Properly inflating underinflated tires is like knocking 8 cents off a gallon of gas.
Save 5¢ for losing weight: For every 100 extra pounds carried around, your vehicle loses 1-2% in fuel efficiency. For every 100 lbs you unload, you’re saving the equivalent of 5 cents per gallon.
Save 5¢ for using the correct oil: You can stretch your gas mileage by 1%-2% by using the thinnest viscosity motor oil recommended by your car’s manufacturer. For example, adding 10W-30 motor oil in an engine that is designed to use 5W-30 can lessen your gas mileage by 1%-2%, saving the equivalent of 5 cents per gallon.
Save 2¢ for not idling: If stopped off the road for more than 30 seconds, turn off the engine. Don’t “warm up” your car before driving — it is not necessary. For every two minutes that you don’t idle, you’ll save the equivalent of nearly 2 cents per gallon.
Save 2¢ for checking the cap: It is estimated that nearly 17% of cars on the road have broken or missing gas caps, which reduce gas mileage as well as possibly harming the environment. Fixing or replacing a faulty gas cap is like saving 2 cents per gallon.
Contact: Jack Gillis, 202-939-1018