Cut Your Car Costs

March 1, 2007

At a time when owning a car is costly, you’ve probably already reduced your expenses by raising the deductible on your insurance policy and taking advantage of discounts offered by your insurer (safe driver, multiple policy). Another area ripe with potential savings is gasoline costs. Some ways to improve your mileage:

  • Slow down. Even a five mile per hour decrease in speed can affect gas mileage.
  • Keep tires properly inflated. Under inflated tires can cut fuel economy by 0.5 percent per pound of pressure below recommended levels.
  • Give your car a tune up. A poorly tuned engine can increase fuel use by up to 50 percent or more. Include a regular oil and filter change. Check with your dealer or a trusted auto mechanic for the recommended frequency of oil and filter changes.
  • Don’t idle. Unnecessary idling can consume as much as a gallon of gas per hour. It also wastes more fuel than restarting the engine.
  • Maintain a consistent speed. Accelerate gently, brake gradually, and avoid sudden stops.
  • Plan errands. Combine outings into one trip as often as possible to spend less time on the road.
  • Pare extra weight. The excess weight of car top carriers and trailers causes engines to work harder and burn more gas.

Source: AAA-Chicago Motor Club

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