2005-08-25 / Community

Tips To Save Money At The Gas Pump

Industry analysts say record high gas prices are likely to climb even higher, but extra miles can be squeezed out of every fill-up if drivers follow a few simple rules.

“The way to save money is in every drivers’ hands, and sometimes feet, “ said Ray Palermo, director of public relations for national auto insurer, Response Insurance. “Everything comes down to a few basic categories of advice,” explained Palermo, “car care and driving habits.” Here are some suggestions:

-Lighten the car’s load by removing all unnecessary items from the trunk. Every 200 pounds of weight reduces gas efficiency by one mile per gallon. If you carry a lot of baggage, avoid using a rooftop container, which will increase air drag.

Incorrectly inflated tires decrease fuel efficiency. Check vehicle and tire manufacturer for proper inflation.

Don’t turn on the air conditioner as a first response to heat. Start your drive off with the windows open to exhaust the hot air out of the rear windows, and then put on the A/C if needed. This will enable the A/C to work faster and more efficiently when turned on.

Smooth out your driving style by avoiding “jack rabbit” starts and sharp braking. Both expend gas and can present a hazard for others on the road.

It’s estimated that every mile per hour driven above 55 MPH costs 1 percent in fuel economy. So, slowing down can be both safe and fuel-efficient. Maintaining a constant speed also maximizes your car’s performance. If road conditions permit, use your car’s cruise control.

Traveling at a fast speed in a low gear wastes gas.

Accelerate a little as you approach a hill, rather than hitting the gas and switching gears once on the incline.

A free brochure, Improving Your Gas Mileage-10 Tips To Save Money at the Gas Pump, is available by calling

1-800-610-5928 or at www.response. com.

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