Driving Tips


  • Get regular tune-ups.


  • Replace dirty air filters.


  • Get regular oil changes with the correct grade of oil.  You could improve fuel economy 10% or more.  Be sure the old oil is recycled!


  • Lighten the load in your car or truck and save on gas mileage.


  • Parking in a garage or in the shade keeps your car cool in the summer. Use a windshield shade if parking outdoors.  A cool car will help you get better gas mileage!  As the temperature rises, gasoline expands, meaning you get less energy per gallon, and therefore fewer miles per gallon.  Plus, when you sit down in a cool car, you’re less apt to crank the air conditioner, which can reduce fuel economy as much as 12%.


  • Check your gas cap.  A faulty gas cap allows gas to evaporate, which not only means you’re buying gas that you won’t use, but also contributes to air pollution, particularly smog.


  • Check tire pressure and get tires aligned.  Keeping tires properly inflated can improve fuel efficiency by 3% or more.  Tires out of alignment can reduce fuel economy by as much as 10%.


  • Keep track when fueling up.  Check your own fuel economy when you fill up.  Use a little notebook that you can keep in the glove compartment.  At the gas station, simply divide miles driven by gallons pumped for “Miles Per Gallon (MPG).  If you see it slipping, you can identify problems early.


  • You can improve fuel economy up to one-third by reforming some bad habits, like riding the brake, coming to squealing stops and accelerating like a racecar driver.  Follow the speed limit.  Avoid “jack rabbit” starts and aggressive driving.  Speeding will cost you more.  Every 5 mph costs your fuel economy about 7%.  Gas mileage usually decreases rapidly at speeds above 60 mph.  Assume that each 5 mph you drive over 60 mph is like paying an additional $0.20 per gallon for gas.


  • Don’t “warm up” your car in the wintertime.  It doesn’t need more than 30 seconds, and just wastes gas.  Also, avoid idling…. particularly in and around schools or other places where children congregate.  Idling allows pollution that contributes to smog to accumulate right around the car.  Imagine a school parking lot full of idling SUVs and school buses!  And it’s pollution that serves no purpose.  You get 0 mpg burning that fuel.


  • The public transportation system in the United States saves 3.4 billion gallons of oil a year, eliminates 541 million hours of traffic delays and cuts greenhouse gas emissions by 26 million tons.


  • If buying a new car, buy a fuel-efficient or hybrid vehicle.