FTC Consumer Alert!
When Gassing Up:
Choose the right
octane gas for your car. Check the owner’s manual to find out what octane your
engine needs. Octane ratings measure gasoline’s ability to resist engine
knock. The higher the octane, the higher the price: Premium (highest octane) gas
sells for an average of 17 cents more per gallon than regular gas. Only about 6
percent of cars sold in the U.S. need premium gas, the AAA says. Still, premium
gas accounts for 20 percent of all gas sold. Resist the urge to buy higher
octane gas for “premium” performance.
Avoid topping off
your gas tank. In warm weather, fuel expansion can cause an overflow.
Before Heading Out:
Keep your tires
inflated to the proper level. Properly inflated tires provide less
road-resistance and can improve fuel efficiency. Check your owner’s manual for
appropriate inflation levels. This information also is usually available on the
jamb of the driver’s-side door.
Keep up with
engine maintenance. Make sure that you change the spark plugs and filters
according to the manufacturer’s recommendations.
items on top of the car. A loaded roof rack or carrier creates wind resistance
and can decrease fuel economy by 5 percent. It’s better to place items inside
the car or trunk.
Lighten your load.
An extra 100 pounds in the trunk reduces a typical car’s fuel economy by 1 to
While On the Road:
Stay within posted
speed limits. Driving at high speeds, especially for long distances, uses more
control; it helps maintain a constant speed and, in most cases, helps reduce
“jack-rabbit” starts and stops.
gears when on the highway. Overdrive decreases the car’s engine speed,
reducing fuel consumption and engine wear.
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