Shift into savingsIf you're among the 39 million Americans on the road for the Fourth of July weekend, you're burning up hard-earned money with every mile. Pump prices were averaging a hefty $3.55 a gallon across the nation for regular on July 1, so it's time to fuel up on these gas-saving tips from fueleconomy.gov, swapalease.com and yours truly.

Travel light. You don't operate as well when you you're wearing a 20-pound backpack. Your car doesn't like lugging excessive weight either. An extra 100 pounds in your vehicle can reduce miles-per-gallon by 2%. That translates to between 4 and 7 cents a gallon. If you must lug stuff, use the trunk, not a roof rack, which creates a lot of aerodynamic drag.

Stop idling: Sitting still with the engine chugging burns up to half a gallon an hour, so kill the engine when you're parked. You'll save 1 to 3 cents a minute versus idling with the air conditioning off, and 2 to 4 cents a minute if you had the air conditioning on.

Stop racing:
This isn't NASCAR and you're not Carl Edwards. Speeding and accelerating too quickly and then braking will exhaust your gas 33% faster on the highway and 5% faster in town. It also makes us nauseous. If you ignore your speedometer, you'll see another 24 cents a gallon go nowhere for every 5 mph above 60 you travel. Quit the Speed Racer act and be 18 cents to $1.20 a gallon richer. That'll make you a winner -- and all of us safer.

Take care of the basics:
A simple tuneup can save 16 cents a gallon, and don't forget to change your oil. You want your engine humming, not bumming, for maximum efficiency.

Use cruise control: Savings vary, but it's usually a smart move on an open highway.

Know where you're going: With all the GPS gizmos and websites like MapQuest.com out there, were you really going to rely on instinct to get to an unfamiliar destination? Yeah, guys, we're talking to you. Going 25 miles out of your way -- and another 25 miles back -- will cost many of you about $10 in gas.

Get a gas-saver:
It's probably too late for this weekend, but have you considered buying a more fuel-friendly car? Based on today's prices, if you drive 15,000 miles in a year, a 30 mile-per-gallon auto will cost you around $900 less at the pump than a 20-mile-per-hour vehicle.



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73 Comments

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savemycountry911

Of course gas prices will fall,.................. at leat until Obummer is re-elected.

July 05 2011 at 3:27 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
Ron

Here's my solution to lower gas prices. Vote Obama out as gas prices were $1.70 when he took office!

July 05 2011 at 2:44 AM Report abuse +3 rate up rate down Reply
1 reply to Ron's comment
bushsnitemare2

ARE THOSE FOX FACTS?

July 05 2011 at 8:30 PM Report abuse +1 rate up rate down Reply
2 replies to bushsnitemare2's comment
savemycountry911

Fox facts are more accurate than the looney lib media's fairy tales.

July 05 2011 at 9:12 PM Report abuse -1 rate up rate down
bushsnitemare2

YOUR NOSE JUST GREW A FOOT LONG.

July 05 2011 at 10:54 PM Report abuse +1 rate up rate down
clse2nangl

I ride my Motorcycle when the weather allows it in MN. I get about 55mpg hiway, so thats not bad. I can go to see the family for $14 rather than $40 in my car. I also like having my car running optimally, so yea, Sea-Foam, tune ups, clean filters are a must in my 10yo car.

July 04 2011 at 10:45 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
wdodf

There is no such thing as a "simple" tuneup anymore. About all one can do is to change the airfilter. Kepp your tires aired up to the max pressure to reduce rolling resistance.

July 04 2011 at 9:24 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
cmax383666

How did this report result in these discussions,this is why congress never gets anything done,they never stick to a topic

July 04 2011 at 7:54 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
dvdfrnzwbr

Group errands together and run them in the morning or late evening to avoid peak times of traffic. Travel in a clock wise route to take advantage of right on red turns.

July 04 2011 at 2:44 PM Report abuse +1 rate up rate down Reply
nomorebarry7

Obama added 129 gas guzzling carbon foot increasing Congressional Limos to the Limo fleet since he's taken office. All Government Motors Cadillacs too. Government Motors to the rescue ! Who's in your wallet?

July 04 2011 at 2:00 PM Report abuse +4 rate up rate down Reply
nomorebarry7

The Obama administration is dragging its feet again.The House Energy & Commerce Committee is stalling on the approve of the Canadian Oil pipeline construction so Canadian oil can reach the oil refineries in Texas. Canada's other alternative it to let China purchase the oil..............KEEP UP THE GOOD WORK BARRY !

July 04 2011 at 1:48 PM Report abuse +4 rate up rate down Reply
nomorebarry7

Just one thing about the above picture. Why did they choose a foreign car with right hand drive rather than an American car. As far as gas saving goes as far as a long trip ,check all the fluids under the hood including belts and hoses,change your oil before the trip and make sure your tires are are inflated to the proper air pressure,never let your gas gauge get below a 1/4 tank.If your car is not tuned properly it will result in insufficient fuel millage.

July 04 2011 at 12:10 PM Report abuse +2 rate up rate down Reply
2 replies to nomorebarry7's comment
bushsnitemare2

YOU FORGOT TO SAY, CHECK THE AIR FILTER NUMB CHUCK BITS.

July 04 2011 at 1:23 PM Report abuse -2 rate up rate down Reply
nomorebarry7

That's part of the tune up, sounds like you have taken too many numb chuck hits to the head !

July 04 2011 at 1:32 PM Report abuse +3 rate up rate down Reply
tdubb50

Another set of lame suggestions from another lame expert. Big oil companies are thrilled when we blame our driving habits for the outrageous price of gas. I'll check back later. Going for a gas guzzling drive in my gas guzzling Jeep and going to enjoy every gallon.

July 04 2011 at 9:11 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply