Top 5 Fuel Saving Tips Without Changing the Way you Drive

by : Marc Eskew

As fuel prices continue to climb to record heights, increasing fuel efficiency becomes more important and will save more money than ever. The most prevalent ways to save fuel are to drive moderately and slow down. "Aggressive" drivers can save up to 37 percent by keeping the petal off the metal and moderating their accelerating and braking. Also, allowing some extra time and slowing down on extended highway trips can save up to 23 percent on gas. To put it in practical terms, for every 5 mph you drive over 60 mph, it costs about an extra $0.20 per gallon of gasoline.

For those not interested in changing their driving habits for the sake of fuel efficiency, they can still realize significant savings by adhering to the following 5 fuel saving tips:

#5 - Remove Excessive Weight from your vehicle
It takes surprisingly little extra weight in your vehicle to have an impact on fuel mileage. For each 100 pounds taken out of a vehicle, up to 2 percent on fuel costs can be saved.

#4 - Maintain Proper Tire Inflation
Proper tire inflation will not only improve fuel efficiency, it will help tires to last longer too! Properly inflated tires are less likely to fail at highway speeds, which is enough incentive to take a couple extra minutes to check tire pressure at each fill up. Keep tires properly inflated and save up to 3.3 percent on fuel costs.

#3 - Use Cruise Control
When taking an extended trip, turning on the cruise control is convenient and surprisingly effective at saving fuel. Cruise control is most fuel efficient on long, flat trips but should be avoided when on a mountainous treks as they tend to accelerate quicker than necessary when climbing, thus robbing fuel efficiency. Overall, up to a whopping 14 percent can be saved by using the vehicle's cruise control feature.

#2 - Avoid Excessive Idling
Many trips include frequent errands and stops around town. Add to that frequent red lights and an untimely wait at a railroad crossing while the train crawls by, there ends up being quite a bit of idle time where the engine burns gas while sitting and waiting. When idling time is more that a minute, turn the engine off and save an astonishing 19 percent on fuel cost.

#1 - Maintain Your Vehicle's Engine and Fuel Systems
The heart of any vehicle is its engine and the fuel system that makes the vehicle run. Scheduled maintenance is critical to long engine life as well as the most critical element to promoting fuel efficiency. Minor problems such as dirty filters and lubricating fluids can cost up to 4 percent in fuel efficiency. Scheduled maintenance will catch the more serious problems, like faulty oxygen sensors, and can save up to 40 percent on fuel costs.

You can maintain peak performance of your engine and fuel systems by using high-quality additives for your oil and gasoline. High-quality products will offer you cleaning, conditioning, and lubricating value above and beyond what is found in typical motor oil and gasoline.

For motor oil, use the recommended grade and look for oil that has "Energy Conserving" on the API symbol to ensure it has friction-reducing additives. Oil treatments vary widely in quality, but you should look for products that condition seals as well as offer friction-reducing ingredients. If you are environmentally conscious, avoid products with PTFE resins or Teflon® to help protect the ozone layer.

For gasoline, look for high-quality fuel with detergent additive to help keep your fuel system clean. Fuel treatments come with a wide variety of benefits so look for a quality product that cleans the system without harmful alcohols, lubricates and conditions injectors, and eliminates water in gas. The best products will boost octane and give you an immediate improvement in fuel mileage.