7 Tips for Saving Money at the Pump

BYNina Russin
Fuel prices have a major impact on vehicle operating costs. The following tips will help you boost fuel economy, no matter what type of car or truck you own.
 
1. Check tire pressure at least twice a month, or daily on extended road trips. A 10-degree change in ambient temperature results in a 1-pound change in tire pressure. You can find the recommended air pressure in the owner’s manual or on a sticker on the driver’s side doorjamb.
 
2. Consider purchasing fuel saver tires. While not available in every size, this type of tire reduces excessive rolling resistance to save fuel.
 
3. When driving at higher speeds, close the windows and use the air conditioner. The additional load from the air conditioning compressor is less than the increase in aerodynamic drag from open windows.
 
4. Change your oil according to owner’s manual recommendations. Oil additives wear out over time, reducing the lubricant’s ability to minimize friction from moving engine parts.
 
5. Have a service technician check wheel alignment every 25,000 miles. Wheels out of alignment prevent the vehicle from tracking straight, reducing fuel economy.
 
6. Avoid jackrabbit starts and sudden stops. Feather the throttle when accelerating to keep the tachometer at 2,000 rpm, and coast into stops. These techniques take some practice but pay big dividends at the fuel pump.
 
7. Don’t overspend by purchasing premium gasoline if your engine doesn’t require it. The purpose of octane is to prevent detonation in certain types of engines. Using a higher grade of gasoline than what the manufacturer recommends is an additional cost that won’t yield any benefits. Do, however, pay attention to the quality of gas you put in your car. AAA found that using a TOP TIER gasoline significantly reduces engine deposits that reduce fuel economy. (Click here to find out more about TOP TIER Gas in Arizona.)
NINA RUSSIN has been writing about the auto industry for 25 years.
Get Expert Service! 
Visit a AAA Auto Repair shop for regular maintenance to maximize fuel economy and prolong the life of your car. Visit AAA.com/repair for more information.
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