by Ana Ellington, BLR Senior Editor and Green Team Member
Did you know that for the best performance and fuel economy, you should keep your tires inflated to their optimal levels? It’s true, inflating your tires to optimal pounds per square inch—or PSI—as instructed by the car manufacturer is one of the easiest and best thing you can do to protect your safety and your wallet.
With tires at the recommended inflation pressure, your car use less fuel—saving energy. Recommended inflation pressure is printed in your vehicles owner’s manual, on a label frequently found in the glove box, or near the door latch on the driver’s side. Regularly inflating tires to their maximum inflation pressure, shown on the side of the tire, is not recommended and can be dangerous. Measure tire pressure when tires are cold, before you drive on them.
Other gas-saving tips include:
- Before a long trip, find out if there are any road construction projects on your planned route and avoid them. Stops and starts waste both valuable vacation time and gasoline.
- An out-of-tune car uses up to 8 percent more fuel. Service your car’s engine according to its maintenance schedule and before any long journey. Avoid extra weight; take only what you need and if possible, keep luggage inside the vehicle to prevent wind resistance.
- Check out online resources for local fuel prices, such as GasBuddy.com. You can also get a GasBuddy App for your phone!
- If you are looking to purchase or lease a new car, consider a hybrid, or at least purchase the most fuel efficient vehicle possible. Visit the U.S. Department of Energy’s (DOE) fuel-economy guide for model year 2012 for information on fuel efficient vehicles.
- Additional gas savings and driving tips are available at DOE’s Gas Mileage Tips page. Check DOE’s Tax Incentive Information Center for more information on federal tax incentives on your purchase of a new hybrid, plug-in hybrid, lean-burn, alternative fuel, or electric vehicle.
As consumers, our best weapon against high gasoline costs is our strong and sustained effort to conserve wherever possible.
Do you have any fuel-saving tips? Let us know!