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Michelle Goes Green

Drive Smart – Gas Saving Alternatives

As the price of gas will surely begin to rise again and the threat of limited supply hangs over our heads, we're all looking for smart gas saving alternatives. Here are a few handy tips to get started.

Slow down or speed up. The optimal speed limit for gas preservation is actually the 55 mph speed limit on most state highways. Of course that doesn’t mean if the speed limit is 25 that you should go 55 or if the speed limit is 75 you should drive 20 mph under the speed limit. If the posted speed limit is 55, go for it and take pride in the fact that you’re saving gas.

Maintain your speed. It actually uses more fuel to accelerate and brake, accelerate and brake repeatedly. Choose your speed and stick to it as much as possible.

Accelerate slowly. The lead foot syndrome is a sure fire gas waster. When you press on the gas, you’re releasing vast amounts of fuel. Your engine can only burn so much and all the extra simply goes to waste.

Drop the weight. Did you know that for every extra 100 pounds in your car you lose 2% in fuel efficiency? Hop into that trunk or hatchback of yours and pull out all the extra junk. Leave the jack and the spare tire of course! That bag of workout clothing you’ve had sitting in the back for months and the empty picnic cooler can go.

Change your spark plugs and keep your car in tip-top shape. The more efficient your car’s systems, the more efficient it uses fuel. In fact, changing your old spark plugs can boost fuel mileage up to 30%.

Make sure your tire has enough pressure. Underinflated tires cause a significant reduction in fuel efficiency. The reason is that you actually have more resistance on the street.

Change your air filter. Your air filter feeds the air directly into your engine and if it’s dirty, you’re losing performance. Typically, your air filter is changed when your oil is changed however, it’s important to make sure.

There’s an age old dilemma regarding which is more fuel efficient to drive with the air conditioner running or to drive with the windows open. The truth is that both waste fuel and are relatively equal. However, if you’re driving at high speeds, the air conditioner may save a bit more gas and if you’re driving at low speeds then having the windows open is slightly more fuel-efficient.

Ultimately, the most fuel-efficient thing you can do is to carpool, take public transportation, walk or ride your bike. And the smaller the vehicle you’re in, the more fuel efficient it tends to be. Try adopting one gas saving habit each week or month until you’re not only saving the environment and conserving resources, you’re saving hundreds of dollars each month.

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Drop the weight. Did you know that for every extra 100 pounds in your car you lose 2% in fuel efficiency? Hop into that trunk or hatchback of yours and pull out all the extra junk. Leave the jack and the spare tire of course! That bag of workout clothing youve had sitting in the back for months and the empty picnic cooler can go.

I've always thought that tubbies should be made to pay a premium for public transportation. I mean, if I have to pay extra to get my excess baggage onto a flight, why shouldn't they?

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I've always thought that tubbies should be made to pay a premium for public transportation. I mean, if I have to pay extra to get my excess baggage onto a flight, why shouldn't they?

That shouldn't just be applied to people but cars in general too. Large and gas-guzzling cars and SUVs should pay some sort of tax.

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That shouldn't just be applied to people but cars in general too. Large and gas-guzzling cars and SUVs should pay some sort of tax.

I like the idea of gas-guzzling vehicles having to pay a polluting-the-air tax. Can't believe people still buy these things, like my neighbor across the street. He just bought a Hummer, blasphemy!

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I like the idea of gas-guzzling vehicles having to pay a polluting-the-air tax. Can't believe people still buy these things, like my neighbor across the street. He just bought a Hummer, blasphemy!

You should empty the car's tires...

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