Save Fuel in 10 Easy Steps

With gasoline prices again heading sharply upwards, drivers are again looking for ways to get the maximum mileage out of every tank of gas. Drivers of all ages can save money at the pump using a few simple steps.

1. Start by slowing down. Changing the way many of us drive, which is the most effective way to gain in fuel economy. This means stopping those jumping jack-rabbit starts, aggressive maneuvers, and observing the posted speed limit.

2. Limit use of the brake pedal. Do this by anticipating stops and avoiding sudden, hard braking.

3. Use cruise control whenever possible. Cruise control keeps the driving speed consistent and allows drivers to see ahead rather than reacting to every small change in surroundings.

4. Avoid excessive idling. Idling uses more fuel than turning your engine off and restarting it. For example, if you're at a light that you know is more than one minute in length, shut off your car. Another place excessive idling occurs is in the drive-through. Whether it's a fast food restaurant, bank, etc. park and go inside. Better yet, you often save more time by going in, rather than sitting idling in endless lines at the drive through.

5. Turn the air conditioning temperature up. Automobile air conditioning is a burden on the engine that uses fuel. Turning the temperature up or better yet, keeping it turned off when you can.

6. Pulse and glide. A favorite technique of hypermilers, however it can only be accomplished with hybrid vehicles.

7. Plan trips in advance. Like lowering our speeds, changing the way we approach errands takes some practice. Organize your trips so you are not getting in the car multiple times in one day, and in planning out trips, be sure you're not retracing steps to places you've already been.

8. Keep up with car maintenance. A well maintained vehicle operates at peak efficiency. Be sure the air filter, oil filter, and fuel filter are clean, and it they're not, replace them. Even something as easy as keeping your tires inflated to the recommended pressure can improve fuel efficiency by as much as 10 percent, according to the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA).

9. Carpool or use public transportation instead of driving to work, a lone driver in a vehicle. If you must drive, use the above steps and map out the most fuel efficient route.

10. Lighten your load. Again, according to the EPA every 100 pounds of unnecessary weight can reduce fuel mileage by up to 2 percent.