Saving Money at the Pump
Gas prices are higher than ever, so you're likely to see more advertising for
"gas-saving" products. Yes, we want to improve on fuel efficiency, but are these
products really helping? Or are they just taking an extra bite out of our
already shrinking car budget?
The truth is, you should be suspicious of any gas-saving claims for certain
devices or oil and gas additives. Even for the few gas-saving products that have
been found to work, the savings have been miniscule.
You'll see all sorts of claims and testimonies. "This gas-saving product
improves fuel economy by 20 percent." Yeah, yeah. Actually, the EPA has tested
over 100 of these supposed gas saving doo-hickies, and none of them were found
to do the job well.
Some of the products can even damage your car. So much for cost savings! Please
be skeptical of advertising claims for gas saving devices.
Here's another quote you might read. "This gas-saving device is approved by the
Federal government." Actually, no government agency endorses gas-saving products
for cars. If the seller claims the EPA has evaluated its product, ask for a copy
of the report, or check http://www.epa.gov for information. Ah, I love the power
of the internet.
If you want to save money at the pump, try these tips. They'll serve you much
better than some snake oil product.
Buy only the octane level gas you need.
The faster you drive, the more fuel you use. It's a fact.
Use overdrive gears during highway driving. This also saves wear on your engine.
Use cruise control on highway trips.
Avoid unnecessary braking and acceleration. That means no tailgating! This tip
alone can improve your fuel economy by 5 to 10 percent. Sudden starts and sudden
stops are wasteful, not to mention the barf factor involved for those of us who
get car sick.
Unnecessary idling wastes fuel.
Avoid carrying excess weight in your trunk.
Keep your engine tuned. Engine troubles can increase fuel consumption by as much
as 10 to 20 percent.
Make sure your tires are properly inflated and aligned. Check them once a month.
Under-inflated tires increases fuel consumption by six percent.
Change your oil.
Check and replace air filters regularly. Clogged filters can cause up to a 10
percent increase in fuel consumption.
There's no need to buy products that cost you more money than they save. These
little fuel saving tips can add up to an extra hundred bucks or so in your
pocket each year!
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