Auto experts give advice on fuel conservation as gas prices continue to climb



MONTGOMERY, Alabama (WSFA) – With these high gas prices, everyone is looking for ways to make the gas we have to buy last a little longer.

According to the US Energy Information Administration, drivers spent an estimated $ 348 billion on fuel in 2017, the most recent year for which final government figures are available.

Prices at the pump are usually out of our control, but there are some things we can do to stretch the dollars we spend. In fact, we can save a considerable amount of gasoline money just by changing our driving habits.

Good driving habits contribute to better fuel economy, which saves money and also helps the planet. Routine maintenance of your car and tires can also save you a lot of money on gasoline. AAA offers these tips:

  • Slow down and drive the speed limit. On the highway, aerodynamic drag results in a significant drop in fuel economy as speed increases above 50 mph.
  • Avoid “jackrabbit” starts and sudden acceleration. These actions significantly increase fuel consumption.
  • Avoid prolonged idling in general. If your car is stopped for more than 60 seconds, turn off the engine to save fuel. Many newer cars have automatic engine stop and start systems that do this.
  • When driving in town, adjust your speed to “time” the traffic lights. This reduces repeated braking and acceleration which consumes additional fuel.
  • Maintain your car according to the manufacturer’s recommendations. Modern cars don’t need “tune-up”, but regular maintenance will ensure optimum fuel economy, performance and longevity.
  • Take your car to a repair shop as soon as possible if the “Check Engine” light comes on. This indicates a problem that is causing excessive emissions and possibly reducing fuel economy.
  • Keep the tires properly inflated. Under-inflation reduces fuel economy, but more importantly, low-air tires degrade handling and braking, wear out faster, and can overheat and explode.

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