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  • Writer's pictureMMH CPA

Save Money on the Road

Many Americans are doing what they can to trim their budgets and save more money. One recurring expenditure for individuals, businesses, and families is fuel for vehicles.

Generally speaking, gas costs can be reduced by improving your car's fuel economy, driving more efficiently, and buying less expensive fuel. The following suggestions address all three areas of fuel expenditures. Some of these gas-saving ideas may also help reduce your vehicle's maintenance costs.

Let your engine breathe. Replace air cleaners at regular intervals. A dirty air cleaner reduces air flow, which translates to lower fuel efficiency. Every six months may be appropriate depending on your owner's manual.

Inflate those tires. Studies have shown that properly inflated tires can increase fuel efficiency by 3% or more.

Don't idle. Idling the car for even a minute uses the gas equivalent of starting the engine.

Start slowly. It's a good idea to accelerate slowly from a dead stop. This allows the carburetor more time to function efficiently.

Slow down. Don't put your pedal to the metal. If you're racing down the freeway at 75 mph, let up. Studies have shown that each 5 mph over 60 mph is like adding $0.24 per gallon to your gas cost.

Stick to good roads. Driving on rough roads can reduce gas mileage by up to 30%.

Lighten up. The more weight you carry, the more fuel is needed to carry your car down the road. So heft those heavy golf clubs from the trunk to the garage this winter.

Use cruise control. This device is standard in many modern cars. Cruise control will help you maintain a constant speed which leads to better gas mileage.

Commute wisely. If possible, ride to work in a car pool or ride the bus. Why not save the gas and depreciation on your own vehicle?

Combine trips. Think about possible errands you can run while traversing town by combining nearby stops together on the same trip.

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