24 August 2005
Jim Rink (313) 336-1513
Motorists planning a summer driving trip may take advantage of a free AAA service – the AAA Fuel Price Finder – available online at www.aaa.com.
The Web site features AAA’s Fuel Gauge Report and a link to the Fuel Price Finder. Using ZIP code or city name, Fuel Price Finder locates gas stations within a 3-, 5-, or 10-mile radius and list the current prices.
As the summer travel season winds down, higher gas prices may also spur motorists to conserve fuel. For energy-conscious consumers, AAA Michigan offers these "gas-saving" tips:
- Slow down. Even a five-mile-per-hour decrease in speed can affect your gas mileage. Watch your tachometer to gauge engine performance.
- Keep tires properly inflated. Under-inflated tires can cut fuel economy by a half percent per pound of pressure below recommended levels.
- Give your car a full tune-up, as recommended by the manufacturer, including a regular oil and oil filter change. A poorly tuned engine can increase fuel consumption by up to 50 percent or more.
- Do not purchase mid-grade or premium gasoline unless it is considered necessary by the vehicle’s manufacturer. Using self-serve regular fuel compared to premium can save an average of 17 cents per gallon.
- Don’t let the vehicle idle for more than a minute. Idling consumes half -a-gallon to one gallon of gas per hour and wastes more fuel than restarting the engine.
- Accelerate gently, brake gradually and avoid hard stops.
- Combine errands into one trip or go to the one location to take care of as many errands as possible.
- When traveling, avoid excess weight and reduce use of car top carriers and trailers. Additional weight and vehicle add-ons have a negative effect on aerodynamics, causing engines to work harder and burn more gas.
- Car pool when possible.
- Travel during off-peak times, avoiding rush hour.
- Check the engine oil level when buying gas to be sure the engine is lubricated properly.
- Large trucks -- which pull heavy loads and are less aerodynamic than cars -- see even greater gains in fuel efficiency with decreased speed. For every 1 mph increase above 55 mph, fuel efficiency generally decreases 2.2 percent.
American Petroleum Institute
Short-Term Energy Outlook
Fuel Economy Site
Energy Information Administration