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Efficient Driving Tips to Help Ease the Pain at the Pump

March 15, 2011 - 7:30am

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No doubt you've heard—or noticed yourself—that gas prices are rising again. It's always painful to fill up when you know the total will be more than it would have been yesterday.

I can't do a lot about the total when you fill your tank, but I do have a few tips to help you fill up a little less often and save a bit of fuel and money. It's been awhile since we pointed you to FuelEconomy.gov, but this site is the best place to start if you're looking for info on efficient driving and vehicles.

To get you started, remember these tips:

  • Drive the speed limit. For every 5 miles per hour (mph) you drive over 60, assume you are paying an additional $0.24 per gallon of gas. That adds up!
  • Try to avoid idling; you get 0 miles per gallon when you're idle.
  • Check your tire pressure. Keeping your tires properly inflated can save you up to $0.11 per gallon.
  • Plan your trips and combine errands into one trip. You may reduce the distance you travel, and your car uses less fuel when the engine is warmed up during a longer trip, versus when you start it cold for several short trips.
  • Try telecommuting, carpooling, or public transportation. Anything you can do to avoid the drive altogether, or reduce the amount of driving you have to do, will help you save on fuel and wear-and-tear on your vehicle.
  • Choose an efficient vehicle. If you're in the market for a new vehicle, buy the most fuel-efficient model possible. FuelEconomy.gov offers some great comparison tools, so start your comparison shopping here!

Be sure to check out the many other tips available at FuelEconomy.gov and do your part to take control of your own fuel use and savings.

Allison Casey is a senior communicator at DOE's National Renewable Energy Laboratory, which assists EERE in providing technical content for many of its Web sites.

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