Stretch Your Dollar: Gas Mileage - Atlanta News, Weather, Traffic, and Sports | FOX 5

Stretch Your Dollar: Gas Mileage


The Department of Energy says the average American spent more than $2,500 on gasoline last year and predicted that to rise to $3,200 this year. So when you're looking for ways to stretch your dollar it's important to get the most out of every gallon.

It would be nice to pour something in your gas tank to get better gas mileage. There are lots of gas additives for sale, some claiming to boost your gas mileage by 17-25 percent.

But AAA suggests a different approach.

AAA Senior Travel Manager Garrett Townsend says about gas additives, "They've been around for years and some of it is just things that make you feel better about paying those high prices at the pump. But really we always suggest doing the sensible, practical things. That's the best way to get good gas mileage."

Before you even pull out of the driveway there are a couple quick things you can do to make sure you're getting the most out of your gas mileage including making sure your tires are properly inflated and making sure your gas cap is on tight.

Also, try to lighten the load on your car by removing anything from the top and from the trunk. AAA says by taking one hundred pounds of weight out of your car, you could increase your gas mileage by 2 percent.

And once you are on the road, slow down. The U.S. Department of Energy says you get peak fuel efficiency when driving between 35 and 60 miles per hour and that starts to drop off when you get over 60 miles per hour.

Also, you should stop tailgating. Townsend says, "If you're doing jack rabbit starts and stops on the highway, those things can reduce your efficiency by about 33 percent and in the city about 5 percent.

And when you do need to grit your teeth and pull up to the pump, Townsend says there's really no good rule on what time of day or day of the week you should buy gas. Instead, he just suggests paying attention to the habits of your local gas station to catch the time prices change. He says, "If you can save a penny or two here and there, it's worth it in the pocket book right now." 


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