Maxing Your Mileage (10/3/04)

Consumer Rreports says there are lots of things you can do to improve your gas mileage.

Marisa Cartaxo is a college student who has to travel quite a ways to get to classes. It costs her about $25 to fill up her tank, almost $10 more than she used to pay.

She said, “That's a lot of money. That's a lot of money even for someone with a full time job. I'm definitely worried about it."

Consumer Reports Jon Linkov says keeping your tires properly inflated is one of several things you can do to go further on a tank of gas. He said, “well our tests show that if your tires are under inflated, even by a pound or two, you really use more gas." The correct pressure is listed inside your gas tank cover, or inside the door jamb on the driver's side.

A cargo box can be another gas waster. Consumer Reports tests show a loaded one can use up to five percent more gas because of the aerodynamic drag. And a bike or ski rack can be an issue too.

Even an empty bike rack or ski rack will waste gas, so you should take it off when you're not using it.

Another way to save, take it slow! Traveling at 70 miles per hour uses a lot more gas than 55.

Also if you're buying premium gas, you're probably wasting money. Most cars run perfectly well on regular unleaded. And new consumer reports tests show a manual vehicle, Mike Marisa drives can help save gas too.

Consumer Reports' tests show some manual vehicles get up to 20 percent better gas mileage than their automatic counterparts.

Also keep your vehicle tuned up. A poorly maintained engine can cut gas mileage by up to 20 percent.

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