By Carlos Gonzales
It’s a good thing gas prices are going down. But don’t expect this will go on forever. World oil is notorious for drastic price changes. So develop good habits of saving on gas now.
1. Don’t be idle. A big no-no: letting the engine run, with the air conditioning on, while waiting or parked. That’s actually more wasteful than restarting the engine. So, if you have to wait more than a minute, open the car windows and turn the engine off. In the same way, make your warm-ups short. Half a minute is long enough, so drive off.
2. Don’t be fast and furious. Don’t rev up your engine, even if you think you’re Vin Diesel. And be gentle on the brake and gas pedals. Hard stops and fast starts waste fuel.
3. Gas up properly. Buy gas at cooler hours, like early morning or at night, to reduce gas evaporation. Also, avoid buying higher octane gas than necessary. And don’t overfill the tank to prevent evaporation.
4. Don’t be a drag. Take out stuff you don’t need from the backseat or trunk. Every extra 100 pounds of excess weight reduces fuel economy by 1%-2%.
5. Take care of your tires. Make sure your tires are properly inflated; otherwise it will take your engine more effort and energy to run. It’s costly too, adding six percent to fuel consumption for every pound the tire is under inflated.
6. Tune up. Get a regular tune-up as recommended by your car manufacturer. That includes changing your oil and filters regularly, to keep the engine running smoothly. Poorly tuned engines increase fuel consumption by 10%-20%.