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AAA World | Auto
Saving Money on Gasoline


Q: With gasoline prices higher, is there anything I can do to lower the cost of driving?
A: There are numerous measures you can take to lower your fuel costs.
Modify your driving style. Keep speeds on the highway below 65 miles per hour, practice gentle acceleration, and anticipate the need to stop so that you can slow down by lifting your foot off the accelerator pedal and minimize your use of the brakes.

Save at least 5¢/gallon on every fill-up at participating Shell stations when you join the Fuel Rewards® program as a AAA Member. Learn More

Switch to 87-octane gasoline. Stop buying premium fuel if your car does not require it. This can save you up to 60 cents per gallon. Your owner’s manual has fuel recommendations.

Forego air conditioning. Use the vent setting on your car’s climate control instead of air conditioning. According to the Environmental Protection Agency, operating the air conditioner on ‘Max’ can reduce miles per gallon by roughly 5 to 25 percent compared with not using it.

Pump Gas

Don’t idle your vehicle. Keeping the car running when you are parked wastes fuel. So does warming up the engine for several minutes after you start the car. It is more fuel efficient to drive gently while the engine warms up.

Combine trips when possible. Cold starts use up more fuel. Going directly from one destination to the next when doing errands reduces the number of cold starts and thus saves gasoline.

Shop around. In one informal survey, there was a 30-cent-per-gallon variation at gas stations located within a mile of each other. Also, use rebates offered by some credit cards.  

Jettison unneeded cargo. Weight adds to fuel consumption. Items that you never use should be stored at home, not in the trunk.

Check the car. Under inflated tires or any problem that keeps the ‘Check Engine’ light illuminated can reduce your fuel economy. Also, be sure to use the engine oil recommended by the manufacturer and follow the advised maintenance schedule.

Remove roof racks. Remove roof-mounted cargo carriers and bicycle racks when not needed. At highway speeds, they can cut fuel economy by as much as 25 percent, even when empty.

Use your car’s stop/start function. Do not disable the stop/start feature found on some cars. It saves fuel.

These steps may not roll back the cost of gasoline and diesel fuel at the pump, but by reducing your fuel usage, you’ll lower your expense.