Did you know you can save considerably at the gas pump just by modifying your driving habits? Regardless of the type of car you drive, good driving habits contribute to better fuel economy, which saves money and helps the planet, too.
Perform routine maintenance
Your car needs the right proportions of air and fuel to run efficiently. A well-maintained vehicle will run at its best.
Keep tires inflated to ideal pressure
Under-inflated tires tend to decrease mileage. (They're dangerous, too.) Check manufacturers' recommendations and make sure your tires are inflated to the maximum PSI, measured when cold.
Combine short trips
Warm engines run more efficiently than cold ones. Combining short errands (such as visiting the grocery store, dry cleaner, and bank) into one trip is an efficient way to save time, as well as gas.
Drive at moderate speeds
While every vehicle is different, mileage decreases quite rapidly over 50 MPH in most cases. To save gas, stay at or under the speed limit, and drive at a consistent rate of speed. Use cruise control on long trips.
Aggressive driving habits such as gunning the engine, speeding, screeching around corners, and jamming on the gas pedal are major fuel wasters. Avoid jackrabbit starts, and generally drive in a measured and moderate fashion for top fuel savings.
Extra weight in the car creates a drag on the engine and consumes extra gas. Don't haul around heavy loads if you don't have to. Check the trunk and back of the vehicle for unnecessary items that may be safely stored elsewhere.
Keep your car aerodynamic
Good aerodynamics affect your car's fuel efficiency by reducing drag, especially at high speeds. Keep windows and moon roof closed on the freeway. Even keeping the car's exterior clean can make a difference.
Use the highest feasible gear
Driving at high speeds in lower gears burns excessive fuel. On a manual transmission, pay attention to RPMs as you accelerate and shift into high gear as soon as you reasonably can.
Avoid excessive idling
Idling uses a surprising amount of fuel — more than restarting the engine. If you need to wait in your parked vehicle for more than a minute or two, switch off the engine and only start up again when you're ready to continue driving.
You'll cut per-person fuel consumption in half when you share a ride. Ask friends and colleagues who live near you or frequent the same places you do to share a ride. You can split gas costs as many ways as there are passengers.