Saving at the Fuel Pump

There is little to like about the numbers at the gas pump.
They're creeping higher, forcing drivers to come up with some ideas on cutting costs, such as limiting their time behind the wheel.

"I have a bike at home. I usually ride that to my job," said Jonathan Williamson…

…Or coming up with unique ways to get around.

"Horse and Buggy?" suggested Jeannie Carlton.

It doesn't have to be that drastic even as another three-dollar a gallon summer looks more likely.

Researchers at Edmunds-dot-com say some minor changes in behavior could save a noticeable amount when it comes to fuel costs. An independent test of five different common tips shows less aggressive driving, for an example, can add up to nearly 40 percent savings.

"Once you start running harder and accelerating harder the vehicles kick out of overdrive, out of lockup, out of converters and they don't run near as efficiently," said Steve Milazzo, with locally operated Auto Tech Plaza.

Milazzo said the study is pretty accurate.

The biggest savings can come from staying at or below the speed limit while driving on the highway, and taking advantage of cruise control while traveling on roads that don't climb in elevation. And if you know you'll be idling for more than a minute, turn off the engine.

"When you're idling a car it's going to use more fuel than re-starting the car, plus it saves on emissions too," said Milazzo.

Milazzo also urges drivers to keep their tires properly pressurized, although the study finds no distinct advantage to it. The idea is, if you're good to your car, another season of high gas prices could be a little less painful to the pocketbook.


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