Fueling UpCredit: http://www.freedigitalphotos.net/images/view_photog.php?photogid=1556Credit: http://www.freedigitalphotos.net/images/view_photog.php?photogid=1556

            When gas prices border on exorbitant, it pays to make your vehicle as efficient as possible to save money on gas. There are many simple things you can do right away to begin saving money on fuel costs no matter what type of car you drive.

            The first step you can take to reduce fuel consumption per mile is to reduce the weight that you carry around in your vehicle. If you have a lot of extra “stuff” in your car or truck that you haven’t bothered removing, it is high time to put these things in their proper place and stop hauling them around with you everywhere you go. For every pound of weight you can take out of your car, your fuel consumption will drop a little bit. So keep a clean vehicle to experience immediate fuel savings.

            Another thing you should do as soon as you can is get a tune-up and oil change. Getting a tune-up will ensure that your vehicle is running at its most efficient, which will yield immediate fuel savings. And getting an oil change will also save fuel. Think about all the parts of your engine moving whenever it’s running; older oil will be “stickier” and have more grit in it than fresh, new oil. This means that all those moving parts in your engine will have more friction as they move, which means less efficient movements. This results in the consumption of more fuel to propel the vehicle forward. So get an oil change if you’re due for one to reap fuel saving benefits and make your car last longer as a bonus.

            Did you know that when your vehicle is moving in a straight line, it is more efficient? With this in mind, you can save a lot of gas by simply planning driving routes out better. Try to either drive on the freeway with the cruise control on or pick routes that have the least amount of turns.

            Another thing to consider when making your vehicle more efficient is the wheel alignment and tire pressure. If your vehicle’s alignment is off, you’ll suffer from a loss of efficiency. So get your alignment checked if you suspect it’s off or if the vehicle “shimmies” at high speeds. It’s a good idea to check your tire pressure regularly as well. Improperly inflated tires will increase your car’s rolling resistance, which will in turn increase fuel cost. Make sure your tires are properly inflated to their recommended PSI ratings.

            And if you’re really concerned about getting maximum efficiency from your vehicle, consider the effect of aerodynamics and wind resistance. Driving at high speeds with all the windows down will cause a loss of efficiency due to increased wind resistance. So roll your windows down less to save fuel. Also, if you have a cargo rack or covered cargo carrier on your roof that is always on, you may want to consider removing it except when you are actually using it. Such add-ons will reduce your vehicle’s aerodynamics and increase drag, thereby increasing fuel consumption.

            Thank you for reading!