- Keep tires properly inflated. One-psi drop in pressure in all four tires can lower gas mileage by 0.4%.
- Follow the maintenance schedule in your owner's manual. Change oil, engine coolant, filters and spark plugs at recommended intervals. Keeping the engine tuned can save about 5% on gas. A dirty air filter can reduce gas mileage by as much as 10%.
- Use the recommended grade of oil. Heavy oil can reduce mileage by 1 to 2%.
- Use the right grade of gasoline for your vehicle. Check your owner's manual.
- Buy gas based on price. It's a commodity product, and one brand is as good as another. The extra additives in more expensive fuel won't necessarily make a difference in your car's performance.
- Drive at off-peak hours to avoid stop-and-go traffic. Try to change your commuting schedule and get to work a bit earlier or leave a bit later.
- Combine shorter trips.
- Obey the speed limit. According to the U.S. Dept. of Energy, every 5 mph you drive above 60 mph is the equivalent of adding ten cents per gallon.
- Use cruise control on the open highway.
- Use a high gear or overdrive when driving at highway speeds. Don't rev the engine in third or fourth gear.
- At low speeds, avoid chugging around in second gear.
- Resist the urge to drive aggressively (i.e., jack rabbit starts and sudden stops).
- Shut the engine off when you have to wait for even a short period of time. Idling your engine wastes gas. It is not more efficient to the let the engine run for several minutes.
- Avoid the long waits associated with left turns. Try to make right turns only.
- Remove the roof rack when not in use. A loaded roof rack reduces fuel economy by 5%. So, try to put as much stuff as possible in your car.
- Avoid using your air conditioner. It can increase gas consumption by 10-20%. Roll down your windows instead.
For additional gas saving tips, check out the recent posts by Mapgirl and Free Money Finance and the U.S. Dept. of Energy's fuel economy website.