Wednesday, July 12, 2006

Let up on the gas

Gas prices soon may topple the record highs set last September after Hurricane Katrina.

Here are some fuel economy tips from AAA Colorado:

Use the lowest grade of gas your car can take. Unless your vehicle owner's manual calls for premium gas, there's no reason to use it.

Slow down. For every mile you drive above 55 mph, your fuel economy drops by 2 percent. And gas mileage tends to drop quickly at speeds above 60 mph. The EPA offers this rule of thumb: Assume that for every 5 mph you drive over 60 mph, you mightas well be paying an additional $0.20 per gallon for gas.

Drive in the highest gear you can, at the lowest possible speed. The slower your engine turns, the less gas you use.

Don't accelerate when driving uphill -- it makes your mileage per gallon plummet. Instead, try to drive at the same speed, or even a little slower.

Try to brake less by anticipating stops. When you brake, you waste the acceleration you've already used. Instead, try to accelerate slowly when leaving a stoplight, and then coast to the next light.

Ditch your car's luggage rack, roof rack and related outdoorsy gear and put it away until you actually need to use it. The drag created from this gear can reduce your mileage per gallon by up to 5 percent.

Get rid of the junk in your trunk. Every 100 pounds in the trunk can reduce your fuel economy by 1 to 2 percent.

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