Here are ways to reduce your fuel costs in your vehicle.
Purchase Fuel Wisely – Save up to 20%
- 1. Use the Right Grade of Gasoline / Don’t Top Off: Most cars run fine on regular. Check your vehicle owner’s manual to find out what’s right for your car. (See regular vs. premium.) Don’t “top off” at the pump and make sure your fuel fill cap is on tight and working right. Regular grade fuel cost about 20-cents per gallon less than premium grade.
- 2. Look for the Best Price / Limit Purchases When Prices are High: Today’s gasolines provide very similar engine performance (although some brands have different gasoline blends that provide other benefits), so choose stations in your area with the lowest prices. Fuel prices can vary 10% within a few blocks. Avoid filling the tank during high-price periods.
- 3. Use Carpooling / Public Transit / Non-Motorized Options: Ride the bus, carpool, bicycle or walk instead of driving alone. Sharing a ride to work with a friend or two effectively doubles your fuel economy for the trip and may allow you to use the diamond lane.
- 4. Take Advantage of Telecommuting / Telecommunications Technology: Many employers offer telecommuting as an option. Use the computer and telephone to replace vehicle trips for business, shopping and services when possible.
- 5. Don’t Drive Aggressively / Drive at the Speed Limit: Avoid aggressive driving and aggressive starts. All vehicles lose fuel economy at speeds above 55 mph. Driving 65 instead of 75 mph reduces fuel cost 13%. Driving 55 would save 25%.
- 6. Reduce Air Conditioner Use / Close Windows: Using the air conditioner increases fuel cost from 13% up to 21%. If it’s cool enough, use the flow-through ventilation instead of rolling down the windows or using the AC.
- 7. Eliminate Extra Wind Resistance and Weight: Using a loaded roof rack increases fuel consumption. Carry the load inside your vehicle if you can. Removing unnecessary weight is better still.
- 8. Minimize Vehicle Idling: Today’s vehicles are designed to warm up fast. Avoid idling when you can; idling is 0 miles per gallon.
- 9. Maintain Vehicle Efficiency: Regular maintenance as prescribed by the vehicle owner’s manual will help your vehicle achieve its best fuel economy. Some overlooked maintenance items, such as a dirty air filter and under-inflated tires, can increase your fuel cost up to 13%. When replacing your tires, replace them with the same make and model as the tires that were on your vehicle when it was new. It’s been estimated that if all Californians properly inflated and aligned their tires, we’d save 300 million gallons of gasoline a year!
- 10. Drive or Purchase a Fuel-Efficient Vehicle: Drive your most fuel-efficient vehicle whenever possible. When purchasing, consider the most fuel efficient vehicle and save up to 50%. Consider a hybrid-electric, a diesel vehicle, or even a motorcycle. The next best option is to purchase the most fuel efficient vehicle within the class of vehicles you are considering.
Final Word on Gasoline-Saving Devices
Please also be aware that many companies will try to sell you mileage improving devices. Some claim that they will save you 10 to 50%. We say, “Let the Buyer Beware!”
The U.S. EPA and Federal Trade Commission have both said that there are no devices that will boost your mileage any appreciable amount. Please see our web page for Energy Myths on Gasoline-Saving Products.
- Devices Tested by U.S. EPA
As of December 2005, the following list categorizes various types of “gas-saving” products, explains how they’re used and gives product names. Those with asterisks may save measurable, but small, amounts of gas. All others have been found not to increase fuel economy.
- Air Bleed Devices. These devices bleed air into the carburetor. They usually are installed in the Positive Crankcase Ventilation line or as a replacement for idle-mixture screws.
The U.S. EPA has evaluated the following products: ADAKS Vacuum Breaker Air Bleed; Air-Jet Air Bleed; Aquablast Wyman Valve Air Bleed; Auto-Miser; Ball-Matic Air Bleed; Berg Air Bleed; Brisko PCV; Cyclone-Z; Econo Needle Air Bleed; Econo-Jet Air Bleed Idle Screws; Fuel Max*; Gas Saving Device; Grancor Air Computer; Hot Tip; Landrum Mini-Carb; Landrum Retrofit Air Bleed; Mini Turbocharger Air Bleed; Monocar HC Control Air Bleed; Peterman Air Bleed; Pollution Master Air Bleed; Ram-Jet; Turbo-Dyne G.R. Valve.
- Vapor Bleed Devices. These devices are similar to the air bleed devices, except that induced air is bubbled through a container of a water and anti-freeze mixture, usually located in the engine compartment.
The U.S. EPA has evaluated: Atomized Vapor Injector; Frantz Vapor Injection System; Hydro-Vac: POWERFUeL; Mark II Vapor Injection System; Platinum Gasaver; V-70 Vapor Injector; SCATPAC Vacuum Vapor Induction System: Econo-Mist Vacuum Vapor Injection System; Turbo Vapor Injection System.
- Liquid Injection. These products add liquid into the fuel/air intake system and not directly into the combustion chamber.
- Ignition Devices. These devices are attached to the ignition system or are used to replace original equipment or parts.
- The U.S. EPA has evaluated: Autosaver; Baur Condenser; BIAP Electronic Ignition Unit; Fuel Economizer; Magna Flash Ignition Control System; Paser Magnum/Paser 500/Paser 500 HEI; Special Formula Ignition Advance Springs.
- Fuel Line Devices (heaters or coolers). These devices heat the fuel before it enters the carburetor. Usually, the fuel is heated by the engine coolant or by the exhaust or electrical system.
- Fuel Line Devices (magnets). These magnetic devices, clamped to the outside of the fuel line or installed in the fuel line, claim to change the molecular structure of gasoline.
- Fuel Line Devices (metallic). Typically, these devices contain several dissimilar metals that are installed in the fuel line, supposedly causing ionization of the fuel.
- Mixture Enhancers (under the carburetor). These devices are mounted between the carburetor and intake manifold and supposedly enhance the mixing or vaporization of the air/fuel mixture.
The U.S. EPA has evaluated: Energy Gas Saver; Environmental Fuel Saver; Gas Saving and Emission Control Improvement Device; Glynn-50; Hydro-Catalyst Pre-Combustion Catalyst System; PETROMIZER SYSTEM; Sav-A-Mile; Spritzer; Turbo-Carb; Turbocarb.
- Mixture Enhancers (others). These devices make some general modifications to the vehicle intake system.
- Internal Engine Modifications. These devices make physical or mechanical function changes to the engine.
- Accessory Drive Modifiers. These devices reduce power to specific auto accessories.
- Fuels and Fuel Additives. These materials are added to the gas tank.
The U.S. EPA has evaluated: Bycosin; EI-5 Fuel Additive; Fuelon Power; Johnson Fuel Additive; NRG #1 Fuel Additive; QEI 400 Fuel Additive; Rolfite Upgrade Fuel Additive; Sta-Power Fuel Additive; Stargas Fuel Additive; SYNeRGy-1; Technol G Fuel Additive; ULX-15/ULX-15D; Vareb 10 Fuel Additive; XRG #1 Fuel Additive.
- Oils and Oil Additives. Usually these materials are poured into the crankcase.
- Driving Habit Modifiers. These are lights or sound devices to tell the driver to reduce acceleration or to shift gears.
Alter Travel Practices – Save up to 30%.
Drive More Efficiently – Save up to 20%
Improve the Efficiency of the Vehicle You Drive – save up to 50%