EPA MPG http://www.wisebread.com/taxonomy/term/232/all en-US Gas Efficient Driving http://www.wisebread.com/gas-efficient-driving <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/gas-efficient-driving" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/iStock_oilmoney.jpg" alt="save money on gas" title="save money on gas" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="376" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p class="MsoNormal">Your gas mileage depends more on the way you drive than on what car you are driving (of course, smaller is still better).<span> </span>Do you ever wonder why you don’t seem to get the gas mileage that is advertised as the EPA rating for your car?<span> </span>Those tests are conducted under ideal conditions (weather, traffic, car condition) driven by an ideal driver.<span> </span>Most of us don’t realize how much our driving habits affect our mileage, and what little effort it takes to improve it significantly.<span> </span>I can get 47 MPG on my 2001 Honda Civic (EPA’s fuel economy rating for it is 32 MPG for combined city and highway).<span> </span>That’s higher than what most people can get out of a hybrid Toyota Prius.<span> </span>So here are some tips to get better gas mileage – saving you money <em>and </em>helping our environment at the same time.</p> <p class="MsoNormal"><strong>The car manual is your friend.</strong><span> </span>Everything you need to know about maintaining your car is in your manual.<span> </span>Follow the recommended maintenance schedule.<span> </span>You don’t need an oil change every three to five thousand miles as recommended by Jiffy Lube.<span> </span>But you do need to make sure your engine is healthy, the air filter gets replaced regularly, and your tires are inflated to proper levels.<span> </span>All this information is listed in your car manual. <span> </span>Don’t let the mechanic sell you services you don’t need.<span> </span>But make sure you are doing what needs to be done to keep your car in tip top shape.</p> <p class="MsoNormal"><strong>Pump up your tires.</strong><span> </span>Fueleconomy.gov states that keeping tires inflated to the recommended pressure can improve fuel economy by up to 5%.<span> </span></p> <p class="MsoNormal"><strong>No need for speed.</strong><span> </span>Speeding, cutting in and out of lanes, tailgating, and other smartass maneuvers save you very little time and end up costing you at the gas station.<span> </span>Driving at an even speed is much more efficient than always accelerating and stopping.<span> </span>Don’t smash your gas pedal when you start moving and if you see a red light up ahead, just take your foot off the gas and coast until you need to brake.<span> </span>Chances are it’ll turn green before you even get there.<span> </span>By anticipating stops and accelerating moderately, Edmunds.com found that you can get up to 37% in gas savings.<span> </span>This also saves you from having to replace your brake pads too often. By far, this has increased my mileage the most. I&#39;ve explained more why speed has such an impact in <a href="/how-to-save-0-54-per-gallon-on-gas">How to save $0.54 per gallon on gas</a>. </p> <p class="MsoNormal"><strong>The speed limit is for your gas mileage’s good.</strong><span> </span>Going above 60mph significantly decreases your fuel efficiency.<span> </span>According to fueleconomy.gov, each 5mph you drive over 60mph reduces your fuel economy by 10%.</p> <p class="MsoNormal"><strong>The windows vs. air conditioning debate.</strong><span> </span>It’s been hotly debated as to whether it’s more fuel efficient to have your windows down or the air conditioning on.<span> </span>The answer is both.<span> </span>At low speeds, having the windows down is a better option.<span> </span>But as the speed increases, having the windows down creates higher air resistance, which decreases fuel economy.<span> </span>According to brainfoodpodcast.com (episode 2), the exact speed where the windows down option crosses over to be less efficient than having the air conditioner on is 50mph.<span> </span></p> <p class="MsoNormal"><strong> </strong></p> <p class="MsoNormal"><strong>Stop idling.</strong><span> </span>You use up gas when your car is on idle.<span> </span>This doesn’t mean turning off your car in the middle of the road when you’re in traffic or at a red light, but keep in mind it’s better to turn off your car and restart than to leave it on idle.<span> </span><span style="color: #231f20">Also, many short trips taken from a cold start can use twice as much fuel as one multipurpose trip covering </span><span style="color: #231f20">the same distance when the engine is warmed up and efficient.<span> </span></span>You would save on mileage too by not having to cover the same area twice if you plan your errands ahead of time. </p> <p class="MsoNormal"><strong>The weight in your rear.</strong><span> </span>If you’re carrying excess pounds in your trunk (no pun intended), get rid of it.<span> </span>Weight contributes to your gas mileage too, you know.</p> <p class="MsoNormal">Driving efficienctly so you can save money at the gas station is great incentive to be more mindful when you drive. But more importantly it&#39;s a very easy and cheap way to contribute to saving our environment. Not to mention it&#39;ll make the roads a little safer and a happier place to be. </p> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/lynn-truong">Lynn Truong</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/gas-efficient-driving">Wise Bread</a>, an award-winning personal finance and <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/credit-cards">credit card comparison</a> website. 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