By Fire Chief Sam DiGiovanna

A Real Pain In The Gas – Tank!

“As gas prices continue to rise, it can leave one feeling both frustrated and helpless. There’s not much we can do about the rise in prices, but there are things you can do to maximize your cars fuel efficiency,” says Fire Chief Sam DiGiovanna. Here are a few tips:

Car maintenance

Taking care of your car can help improve its efficiency. Proper car maintenance can extend the life of your car, but did you know it can also impact your car’s fuel efficiency? Here are a few helpful tips to keep in mind.

Fix any problems right away

Fixing a car that is noticeably out of tune or has failed an emissions test can improve its gas mileage by an average of 4%, though results vary. Fixing a serious maintenance problem, such as a faulty oxygen sensor, can improve your mileage by as much as 40%.

Check tire pressure

Checking and adjusting the pressure of your tires once a month can increase a car’s fuel efficiency by up to 3%.

Change air filters

Replacing a clogged air filter on an older vehicle with a carbureted engine can help improve both fuel economy and acceleration by a few percentage points under normal replacement condition. Replacing a clogged air filter on vehicles with fuel-injected, computer-controlled gasoline engines — such as those manufactured from the early 1980s to the present — or diesel engines does not improve fuel economy, but it can improve acceleration.

Driving habits

Discover how driving habits impact fuel economy. From accelerating more smoothly to closing your windows on the highway, here are a few simple things you can do.

Slow down

Aggressive driving such as speeding, rapid acceleration and braking often wastes gasoline. It can lower your gas mileage by 33% at highway speeds and by 5% around town. Sensible driving is also safer for you and others, so you may save more than gas money.

Reduce idling

Turn off your car when it’s safe. When your AC is on, you are paying 2¢–4¢/min. With the AC off, you pay 1¢–3¢/min.

Use cruise control

Using cruise control on the highway helps you maintain a constant speed and, in most cases, saves gasoline.

Close your windows

If driving at 60 miles per hour or more, keep the windows closed. Open windows create a lot of aerodynamic drag, which can lower your fuel efficiency when driving at high speeds. Also, remove the roof rack if you’re not using it, for up to 10% savings on fuel.

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