Here we go again.  Gas prices are rising and no relief in sight. Over $3 a gallon and some of us with that handy SUV or truck; wondering if it is time to bail.  Before you do anything rash let us look at some smart tips, and make good decisions that will be environment friendly and save money (on gas) while doing it.

First of all, maintain your vehicle’s engine per the owner’s manual.  Use the recommended grade of gas, especially, if it’s regular (lower grade).  Most engines run fine on the lower grade but premium can be 50 cents more per gallon.  Within reason, search for the lowest priced station.  All brands are about the same. A 10 percent savings could be a block away.  Check the tire pressure and inflate to the recommended pressure.  Underinflated tires can reduce fuel economy by 3 percent.

Now here are some driving habits and tips that will increase your miles per gallon (mpg)…..pdq:

  • Coast to a stop.  Generally, the less you have to brake, the better the fuel economy.
  •  Avoid a slow crawl up to speed. The best acceleration rate varies with the vehicle, gear ratios and weight, but testing finds that taking 15 seconds to accelerate to 50 mph used less fuel than taking 30 seconds to reach the same speed.  This is because the fuel efficient cars of today will reach their top fuel-saving gear sooner.
  • Close windows and use your air conditioning at high speeds.  Weather permitting, below 55 mph, open the windows and leave the air conditioning off.  At higher speeds, keeping the windows closed and the air conditioning running will burn less fuel.
  • Cruise at slower speeds but don’t get run over. Always maintain the distance required to be safe in traffic.

And, if you really are serious (obsessed) about getting the most miles per gallon, try “hypermiling”.  Hypermiling is a term that describes the use of extreme driving techniques that will improve fuel efficiency by reducing the demands placed on the engine. The impact of hypermiling can contribute to a 37 percent improvement in gas consumption.  Just type hypermiling into your favorite search engine and get started to day.  See you at the gas pump!