OKLAHOMA CITY (KFOR) – Drivers across the United States and the globe are paying more at the pump, but there are a few things you can do to make those gallons last a little longer.
AAA Oklahoma says Oklahoma’s statewide average gas price reached a new high of $3.98 per gallon. Still, Oklahoma remains one of the cheapest states in the nation for gas.
Get your vehicle checked out
Perform regular car maintenance at the intervals recommended by the vehicle manufacturer in the owner’s manual or as indicated by the in-car maintenance reminder system.
Keep tires properly inflated
Under-inflated tires can decrease your gas mileage by approximately 3 percent. Not to mention, properly inflated tires are safer and last longer. Check pressure in all four tires every two weeks with an accurate, hand-held air pressure gauge.
Know your octane
Do not purchase mid-grade or premium gas unless your owner’s manual specifically recommends it. According to AAA research, Americans waste more than $2.1 billion annually on premium gas in vehicles designed to run on regular fuel. AAA found no benefit to using premium gas instead of regular-grade fuel. At the time of the study, 70% of U.S. drivers owned a vehicle that required only regular gasoline.
Letting your vehicle idle for more than 10 seconds uses more gas than shutting it off and restarting. Don’t start your car until you are ready to go. The engine actually warms up more quickly once the car is operating, and will stay warm after stopping. Also, avoid drive-up windows – park and go inside instead.
Observe the speed limit
Gas mileage decreases rapidly at speeds above 60 mph. Each 5 mph you drive over 60 mph is like paying an additional $0.15 per gallon of gas. Using cruise control on the highway helps you maintain a constant speed and, in most cases, will save gas.
Aggressive driving wastes gas. It can lower your gas mileage by 33 percent at highway speeds and by 5 percent around town.
Combining errands into one trip saves you time and money. Several short trips taken from a cold start can use twice as much fuel as a longer multi-purpose trip covering the same distance when the engine is warm.
Drag reduces fuel efficiency. Driving with the windows open, using roof- or rear-mounted racks and carrying heavy loads increase vehicle drag. Avoid carrying unnecessary items, especially heavy ones. An extra 100 pounds in the trunk reduces a typical car’s fuel economy by 1-2 percent.