Office of Energy Policy
Easy Ways to Save Gasoline
Frankfort, KY, (June 30, 2005) – With the Fourth of July holiday just around the corner, many drivers are planning to hit the road. More Americans will travel this Fourth of July holiday than have ever traveled for a holiday weekend, according to AAA’s holiday travel forecast. About 85 percent of all holiday travelers expect to go by motor vehicle, a 2.6 percent increase from the 33.1 million who drove a year ago.
Kentucky drivers will find prices averaging $2.16 or more for a gallon of self-serve regular gasoline. With gas prices so high, motorists should consider ways to save money at the pump.
You can save money while reducing both fuel consumption and air pollution by following some of the tips listed below. The steps you choose to take will depend on your own particular circumstances, but any of them will reduce the amount of money you spend on gasoline.
•Avoid high speeds: As your speed increases, your aerodynamic drag increases in an exponential fashion. Driving 62 mph (100 km/h) vs. 75 mph (120 km/h) will reduce fuel consumption by about 15 percent.
•Do not accelerate or brake abruptly: By anticipating the traffic and applying slow steady acceleration and braking, fuel economy may increase by as much as 20 percent.
•Keep tires properly inflated: Keep tire air pressure at the level recommended by the manufacturer. A single tire under-inflated by 2 PSI increases fuel consumption by 1 percent.
•Avoid using mid-grade or premium grade gasoline: Unless specified for your vehicle, use regular gasoline. Older vehicles may require higher grades to avoid "knock" which reduces power and may damage the engine.
•Keep windows closed when going above 40 mph: When traveling at highway speeds, having the windows open increases drag and results in decreased fuel economy of up to 10 percent. At high speeds, using the air conditioner uses less fuel than having the windows open.
•Service vehicle regularly: Proper maintenance avoids poor fuel economy related to dirty air filters, old spark plugs or low fluid levels.
•Use cruise control: Maintaining a constant speed over long distances often saves gas.
•Avoid long idles: If you anticipate being stopped for more than 1 minute, shut off the car. Restarting the car uses less fuel than letting it idle for this time.
•Replace air and fuel filters regularly: You should replace filters as instructed by your vehicle's maintenance manual; change air filter more often if driving in dusty conditions.
•Purchase a fuel efficient vehicle: When buying a new vehicle examine the vehicle's rated fuel efficiency. Usually choosing a small vehicle with a manual transmission will provide you with better fuel economy, or consider choosing a hybrid vehicle.
For more ideas about saving energy, visit the Office of Energy Policy’s Web site at http://www.energy.ky.gov/dre3/tips/tips.htm.