Save Fuel and Stretch Gasoline Dollars Memorial Day Weekend

Improve Your Vehicle’s Fuel Economy by Following Basic Tips from NYSERDA

May 23, 2013

Don’t let gas prices deter you from your Memorial Day road trip. The New York State Energy Research and Development Authority (NYSERDA) offers the following tips to help you enjoy your holiday weekend while saving money at the pump.

Vehicle Maintenance that Saves Fuel

  • Properly inflate your tires: You can improve your gas mileage by approximately 3 percent by keeping tires inflated to the proper pressure. Under-inflated tires can lower gas mileage by 0.4 percent for every pound-per-square-inch drop in pressure.
  • Keep your vehicle tuned up. Fixing a car that is noticeably out of tune or has failed an emissions test can improve its gas mileage by an average of 4 percent, though results vary based on the kind of repair. Fixing a serious maintenance problem, such as a faulty oxygen sensor can improve mileage by as much as 40 percent.
  • Change your oil according to manufacturer recommendations: Using the manufacturer’s recommended grade of motor oil can improve gas mileage by 1 to 2 percent. Also, look for motor oil that says “Energy Conserving” to be sure it contains friction-reducing additives that can increase gas mileage.

Driving Habits that Save Fuel

  • Observe the speed limit and drive sensibly: Gas mileage decreases rapidly at speeds above 60 mph. Aggressive driving wastes gas and can lower your gas mileage by 33 percent on the highway and 5 percent on local roads.
  • Use cruise control where possible: Cruise control helps you save gas by maintaining a constant speed on the highway.
  • Avoid excessive idling: Idling can use a quarter to a half gallon of fuel per hour, depending on engine size and air conditioner use. Turn off your engine when your vehicle is parked.
  • Choose the right vehicle: If you own more than one vehicle, drive the one that gets the best gas mileage. Try to avoid driving during peak rush hours to minimize engine idling and fuel loss.
  • Remove excess weight. If possible, avoid keeping heavy items in your car. An extra 100 pounds could reduce your MPG by up to 2 percent.

When driving this Memorial Day weekend, don’t forget to buckle up! Governor Andrew M. Cuomo recently announced the statewide “Buckle Up New York” campaign which is being conducted by law enforcement agencies throughout New York State to crack down on drivers and their passengers who are not wearing seat belts.