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Alternate Ways of Saving Fuel

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Even the smallest changes can have a positive effect. By taking care of your car, buying or renting a fuel efficient vehicle, and learning how to be a green driver, you can save fuel and even the environment.
You want to green up your move; if you know anything about environmentally friendly practices at all, then you know that conserving gas is an enormous part of how you can help. If you drive a car and use your own money to pay for things, then you also know that conserving gas is a very good idea, economically. This marriage of sensible spending and green thinking is something that everyone can agree on. You are probably going to be doing quite a bit of driving during this time in your life. Here are a few tips for how you can help yourself and the environment.

Driving better

Perhaps the simplest way to save money and lower your gas consumption is to drive sensibly. For instance, keeping a consistent speed is going to conserve fuel; the more you accelerate, the more gas you are wasting. The same goes for driving too fast. Slower speeds are more conservation-friendly. Making turns correctly and driving in straight lines will lower the mileage you cover in a trip. Though there might not be much of a difference initially, making this behavior consistent will make an impact in the long run.

Taking care of your car

Making sure your car has regular tune-ups and oil changes will ensure that your engine is running properly and using gasoline to its proper capacity. If you have dirty filters or improperly working parts, there will be more strain on your engine, and you won't get the gas mileage you should be getting. Also, keeping your tires filled with air will make quite a difference. Driving on deflated tires takes a lot more energy than driving on ones that are properly filled.

Purchasing a fuel-efficient vehicle

This step takes a bit more of a commitment, unless you are shopping for a new car anyway. The option of buying a hybrid is available from many manufacturers' current lines, and that is going to be your best bet for conserving gas over the long and short term. However, simply buying a vehicle that is smaller or geared more toward fuel efficiency in general is also going to make a tremendous difference. Get a car, used or new, that fits your individual requirements without going over the top. If you can manage in a sedan or a coupe, you might forgo the SUV or minivan. Also, check the miles per gallon on the cars that you are looking to purchase, whether at the dealership or online, if you aren't buying new.

Other tips

There are other, more general things one can do to get one's fuel mileage up.
  • Using the air conditioning less often will put less strain on your car as you are driving. However, having your windows down on the highway will cause extra drag and make your car less efficient. So, put the windows down for city driving, and use the air conditioning on the highway.
  • Don't drive around with heavy stuff in your trunk if you don't have to.
  • Avoid idling for long periods of time. If you are going inside somewhere, turn your engine off.
  • Try to cut down on the number of trips you make in the car. If you plan out your days better, you'll be able to avoid making frequent short trips to the store, back to the office, etc.
  • If possible, don't use your car! Public transportation, cycling, or walking to wherever you have to go are all going be easier on the environment and your wallet.

Patrick Hanan  Posted by Patrick Hanan on January 11, 2010

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