The non-profit Consumer Federation of America has come out with a list of 10 ways to save on gas this holiday weekend and beyond. So what's new about it? The Federation tells us which tips save the most. Would you know if getting a tune up saves more than getting a wheel alignment? I would have no idea--in fact I wouldn't have known that getting an alignment can save even a drop of gas. And yet, an alignment saves twice as much gas as a tune-up, according to the CFA.
Here's a list of the ten tips. See if you can put them in order from saving the most gas to saving the least. Scroll down for the answers:
Replace your air filter.
Get a wheel alignment
Get a tune-up
Keep tired inflated to recommended maximum
Fix or replace a faulty or missing gas cap
Lose weight (and clean out the dead weight in your trunk)
Follow the speed limit
Drive smoother with less accelerating and decelerating
Quit riding the brakes
Quit warming up the engine. Turn off the engine when idling 30 seconds or longer
Answers in order from saving the most gas to saving the least gas
1. Quit riding the brakes. The CFA said that riding with your foot on the brake not only wears out brakes but can also reduce gas consumption by as much as 35 percent. If you kick the habit of driving with your foot on the brake, you’ll get the equivalent of 1.35 cents per gallon in savings (assuming gas prices at $3.85 per gallon).
2. Drive smoother with less accelerating and decelerating. The smoother you accelerate and decelerate, the better your gas mileage, with potential gas savings of 33 percent on the highway and 5 percent around town. Consumers who currently drive erratically can pocket the equivalent 68 cents a gallon by driving more smoothly.
3-4. Replace your air filter. A clean air filter can improve gas mileage by as much as 10 percent, and nearly one in four cars needs an air filter replacement. Changing a dirty air filter can save the equivalent of 39 cents a gallon or carry you 23 more miles on a typical tank of gas.
3-4. Get a wheel alignment. Poor alignment not only causes tires to wear out more quickly, but also forces your engine to work harder, which can reduce gas mileage by as much as 10 percent. Fixing improper alignment would be like saving 39 cents per gallon.
5. Follow the speed limit. For every 5 mph you reduce highway speed, you can reduce fuel consumption by 7 percent. If you typically drive 70 on the highway and slow down to 65, it’s the equivalent of saving 27 cents a gallon.
6. Get a tune-up. A properly tuned engine can improve mileage by 4 percent which is like saving 15 cents a gallon.
7. Keep tired inflated to recommended maximum. More than one-quarter of vehicles have improperly inflated tires. The average under-inflation of 7.5 lbs. causes a loss of 2.8 percent in fuel efficiency. Properly inflating problem tires is like knocking 11 cents off a gallon of gas.
8. Lose weight (and clean out the dead weight in your trunk). For every 100 extra pounds carried around, your vehicle loses 1-2 percent in fuel efficiency. For every 100 pounds you unload, you’re saving the equivalent of 6 cents per gallon.
9. Fix or replace a faulty or missing gas cap. It is estimated that nearly 17 percent of cars on the road have broken or missing gas caps, which reduce gas mileage as well as possibly harming the environment. Fixing or replacing a faulty gas cap is like saving 3 cents per gallon.
10. Quit warming up the engine. Turn off the engine when idling 30 seconds or longer. If stopped off the road for more than 30 seconds, turn off the engine. Don't "warm up" your car before driving -- it is not necessary. For every two minutes that you don’t idle, you’ll save the equivalent of nearly 1 cent per gallon.
If you got all of these tips in the correct order, congratulations. Please feel free to send in more tips to firstname.lastname@example.org. Enjoy your Memorial Day weekend. Drive safely.