Fuel Frugal Tips to help you save money
(MIAMI, September 17, 2012) – Americans have been feeling the impact of rising gas prices at the pump and everything seems to indicate that it will continue to increase. The Federal Reserve’s announcement last week to move forward with more stimulus measures in an effort to spur economic growth has caused oil prices to jump.
While we have no control over the price of fuel, we can do a few things to help us save money. Below are a few tips from that may help ease the burden of rising fuel prices.
- Fill up efficiently: If you need to fill up, fill up all the way. The more money you try to save by adding $10 today and then $20 tomorrow will be wasted since each time you will have to travel to the station and wait for a pump. Instead, do it all at once to save time and money.
- Stay within speed limit: Gas mileage decreases rapidly at speeds above 50 miles per hour (MPH). In addition, try driving at a consistent speed.
- Avoid unnecessary idling: If you anticipate waiting inside the car, turn off the engine. A running engine wastes fuel and pollutes the air.
- Keep your engine tuned: Tuning your engine according to your car’s manual can increase mileage by an average of four (4) percent.
- Change your oil: Clean oil reduces wear caused by friction between moving parts and removes harmful substances from the engine. You can improve your gas mileage by using the grade of motor oil indicated in your owner’s manual and changing it according to schedule. In addition, motor oil that says “Energy Conserving” on the performance symbol of the American Petroleum Institute contains friction-reducing additives that can improve fuel economy.
- Keep your tires properly inflated and aligned: Keeping your tires inflated to the proper measure, can increase gas mileage up to three (3) percent. The proper tire pressure for your vehicle is usually found on a sticker in the driver's side door jamb or the glove box and in your owner's manual. Do not use the maximum pressure printed on the tire's sidewall.
- Follow the recommendations listed in your owner’s manual for the right octane level for your car: For most cars, the recommended gas is regular octane. Using a higher octane gas than the manufacturer recommends offers no benefit — and costs you at the pump. Unless your engine is knocking, buying higher octane gas is a waste of money. Looking for more information on selecting the right octane level for your car? See The Low-Down on High Octane Gasoline.
- Clean out your trunk: An extra 100 pounds in the trunk can reduce fuel economy by up to two (2) percent.
- Search for gas prices: Check gas prices in your area by logging on to www.gasbuddy.com and entering your city, state, and zip code.
- Be skeptical of gadgets that promise to improve your gas mileage. The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has tested over 100 supposed gas-saving devices — including “mixture enhancers” and fuel line magnets — and found that very few provided any fuel economy benefits. Those devices that did work provided only a slight improvement in gas mileage. In fact, some products may even damage your car’s engine or cause a substantial increase in exhaust emissions. For a full list of tested products, visit www.epa.gov/otaq/consumer/reports.htm.
For more consumer tips, or to check the complaint history of a company, file a complaint or ask consumer-related questions, visit the Business Affairs and Consumer Protection website at www.miamidade.gov/business, or call (305) 375-3677.