Tips for Driving Green

No matter where you live and what you drive, you can save on your gas mileage when you learn to drive green. Every gallon of fuel that you don’t use saves you money and helps to reduce global warming. Here’s how you can start making a difference today:

Regular Servicing Is Important

Keep your vehicle well-maintained with regular servicing to keep it operating at peak efficiency. An inefficient engine—with fouled spark plugs, for example—won’t make optimum use of fuel. Be sure the air filter and the fuel filter are clean. Put in new ones if they’re not. A new oxygen sensor alone can improve gas mileage by as much as 15 percent, according to AutoZone, a car parts store.

Tire Pressure

Don’t forget little things like the air in your tires. Having tires inflated to the automaker’s maximum recommended pressure can improve gas mileage by as much as 6 percent, while periodic wheel alignments can help improve fuel economy up to 10 percent, according to the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency.

Get rid of the Junk in the Trunk!

Clean out that trunk, cargo area or pickup bed. Take out unneeded items that only add weight to your vehicle. Extra weight decreases gas mileage, for every 200 pounds of unnecessary weight shaves one mile per gallon off your fuel mileage.

Be Smooth!

Change your driving style. Accelerate gradually, drive smoothly and with care and you could see as much as a 20 percent gain in fuel economy compared with what you’d get with an aggressive driving style, the EPA says. Skip those jackrabbit starts and sudden pedal-to-the-metal maneuvers if you want to save gas. Anticipate stops so you avoid sudden braking, and take a long view of the road ahead, coasting safely to an intersection in front of you where you see traffic stopped.

Slow Down!

Don’t speed. A car or truck moving at 55 miles an hour can get about 15 percent better fuel economy than the same car going 65 mph. Use your vehicle’s navigation system, if you have one, in your travels to new locales. This can save you from getting lost and wasting gas.

Other Costs Affected

Keep in mind you might pay a bit more for that next new car. Higher fuel prices in recent years have prompted many automakers to boost the price of delivering vehicles to dealerships. You see these higher trucking charges on the window sticker, on the “destination and delivery” line.