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Wednesday, June 18, 2008

Fighting High Fuel Prices

According to PSE&G at My Energy Tips, here are some tips to fight the high prices we are expected to pay for gas.

Gasoline prices are expected to reach record highs this summer. While your wallet is bound to take a hit, you need not just sit idly by while your gas tank guzzles up more and more of your money. There are steps you can take to help improve your vehicle's fuel economy and save money, while still being able to visit family, take that vacation and do all of the other things you plan to do this summer.

Drive Sensibly
Driving recklessly (speeding, rapid acceleration) can waste a lot of energy. By using careful driving techniques, you not only improve auto safety, you can vastly improve your fuel economy.
Drive the speed limit. In many vehicles, gas mileage decreases rapidly after 60 mph. By staying under 65 mph, you can improve your fuel economy up to 23%, depending on your vehicle and conditions.

Remove excess weight. Avoid leaving unnecessary items in your vehicle, especially heavy ones. For every 100 pounds of excess weight, your car can lose up to 2 mpg.

Other sensible tips include:
Avoid excess idling, use cruise control to maintain a constant speed, and use overdrive to slow down your engine speed.

Keep You Car In Shape
Proper maintenance will have a positive impact not only on the value and longevity of your car, but on its fuel economy as well. Have your vehicle tuned on a regular basis. Fixing a vehicle that is out of tune can save up to 4% on fuel economy. Check and replace air filters regularly. Replacing a clogged air filter can improve your fuel economy by as much as 10%. Often overlooked is tire inflation. You can improve your mpg by more than 3% or 10 cents a gallon by keeping your tires inflated at the recommended level.

Planning Trips
Try to plan your weekly errands into as few trips as possible. One long trip will gain you much better fuel economy than several short trips with a cold start. If possible, schedule your work hours to avoid peak rush hour traffic. You will spend less time sitting in traffic and using up fuel. Take advantage of any carpooling or rideshare programs that are available. When taking longer trips, it is tempting to load down your vehicle using a roof rack or carrier. However, these devices mess with the aerodynamics of your vehicle and can cut your fuel economy by up to 5%, If possible, lighten your load and stuff everything into the trunk of your vehicle.

Purchase a More Efficient Vehicle
Thinking about buying a new car? Now would be a perfect time to find a more fuel-efficient vehicle! A great place to start is the U.S. EPA’s Fuel Economy Guide 2008. This provides information on gas mileage and more on hundreds of models from 1985 through 2008.

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