Gas Saving Takes on New Urgency

Apr 13, 2012

Gas Saving Takes on New Urgency

While it is always a good idea to conserve gasoline, recent price increases have provided motorists with an immediate incentive. Here’s advice from the pros at the non-profit National Institute for Automotive Service Excellence (ASE).

The big picture means keeping your vehicle properly maintained and changing driving habits so as to maximize mileage, according to ASE officials. And here’s a checklist to help you accomplish just that from the group that tests and certifies automotive technicians:

• Monitor your tires. Under inflated tires or poorly aligned wheels waste fuel by forcing the engine to work harder. Let the tires cool down before checking the air pressure. Out-of-line wheels, as evidenced by uneven tread wear, should be aligned by a professional.

• Consolidate your daily trips and errands. Some trips may be unnecessary. Also, try to travel when traffic is light so you can avoid stop-and-go conditions.

• Avoid excessive engine idling. Shut off your vehicle while waiting for friends and family.

• Observe speed limits. Speeding decreases your miles per gallon.

• Drive gently. Sudden accelerations guzzle gas. Anticipate traffic patterns ahead and adjust your speed gradually. Use cruise control. (You’ll help your brakes and suspension system last longer, too.)

• Remove excess weight. Remove unnecessary items from the vehicle. Store only essentials in the trunk. Less weight means better mileage.


• Use windows and air conditioning wisely. If possible, avoid using your air conditioner in heavy, stop-and-go traffic such as traffic jams or holiday weekend back-ups.

• Keep your engine operating at its peak efficiency. A well-maintained engine will help you maximize the gas mileage for your specific make and model. A misfiring spark plug can greatly reduce gas mileage. Follow the service schedules listed in your owner’s manual.

• Replace filters and fluids as recommended; have engine performance problems (rough idling, poor acceleration, etc.) corrected at a repair facility. Given today’s high-tech engines, it’s wise to have this type of work done by auto technicians who are ASE certified in engine performance.

The National Institute for Automotive Service Excellence (ASE) was founded in 1972 as a non-profit, independent organization dedicated to improving the quality of automotive service and repair through the voluntary testing and certification of automotive technicians. ASE-certified technicians wear blue and white ASE shoulder insignia and carry credentials listing their exact area(s) of certification. Their employers often display the blue and white ASE sign. Visit for more information.

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