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The world's easiest, cheapest gas saving tips

Easiest because you don't even have to pop your hood! Cheapest because it costs little or nothing to try them.

Political cartoon about gas crisis days, with a big oil exec and Mideast oil sheikh combined tightening a financial vise on Uncle Sam.

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This page last updated on or about 8-18-08

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Way back in 1980 I whipped up a list of gas saving tips among various other little pamphlet items. Being both chronically money-short and the one-time owner-builder of a supercar I was well qualified for the task. Now here it is the 21st century and gas prices are stinging us once again. So I figured why not post my old tips online? Here they are, only slightly revised from before.

Keep a couple things in mind as you peruse the tips: one, automobile technologies have changed some since I first created this list, so certain adjustments may be in order according to your own knowledge and expertise with regards to your vehicle. Two, these tips all work best if used together. I.e., slightly over-inflating your tires for less rolling resistance should prove fine so long as you're also driving more sedately than before. But less rolling resistance also means slightly less effective panic braking and high speed cornering. So drive like your grandma when you're using ultra low rolling resistance.

Check Gas Prices Online: 11 Handy Tools | eRideShare.com Carpool / Rideshare Community | GasBuddy.com - Find Low Gas Prices in the USA and Canada | 17 Great Web Sites & Apps for Saving Money on Gas

#1: Call ahead first. You can save gas, wear and tear on your car, and money too by comparing prices, checking delivery times, opening and closing schedules, etc., via phone before ever going anywhere.

#2: Combine as many different car trips into one as you can.

#3: Own more than one car? Drive the most economical every chance you get.

#4: Don't haul unnecessary weight in your car (including in your trunk). Every extra ounce hurts mileage.

#5: Add 3-5 pounds OVER the manufacturer's recommended inflation pressure to your tires, for less rolling resistance.

#6: Avoid excessive idling. Most engines warm up faster under load anyway.

#7: Avoid hard acceleration. It accounts for the greatest flood of gas ever available to an engine.

#8: Avoid panic stops. It's rough on mileage and brakes both.

#9: Obey the speed limits. Most cars' most efficient running speeds fall well within these speed ranges. And avoiding just a single speeding ticket could be worth untold tanks of gas to you money-wise.

#10: Pay attention to your driving habits. I.e., DON'T ride the brakes as you drive, and avoid exerting even the slightest pressure on the throttle at traffic stops, etc.

#11: Always shift into high gear as soon as possible with a manual transmission.

#12: Don't tailgate. It necessitates constant braking and acceleration moves.

#13: Avoid using your brakes as much as possible. By taking everything slow and easy in your driving, you can usually get by with much less actual brake use than you might expect.

#14: If your car is easy to start you can shut if off momentarily at any traffic stop which typically lasts more than a minute to come out ahead gas-wise. There was a pair of redlights in Round Rock Texas located one right after the other that I swear seemed to stay red for fifteen minutes each...my friend Steve the world traveler himself said they may be the longest red light stops in the world.

#15: Use your emergency brake instead of your clutch to hold your manual transmission car at a standstill on hills.

#16: Avoid using your air conditioner (it cuts mileage up to 10%).

#17: Use your cruise control wherever practical.

#18: Keep your windows closed at highway speeds to reduce aerodynamic drag.

#19: Never 'rev up' your engine before shutting it off. It accomplishes nothing anyway.

#20: Avoid driving on dry pavement with front axles engaged on four wheel drive vehicles. It causes needless, wasteful friction.

#21: Keep your gas tank OVER half full to prevent excessive evaporation and condensation. This can also help prevent fuel line freeze ups in winter, and the extra gas reserve comes in really handy in emergencies or sudden fuel shortages.

#22: Buy the lowest octane gas your car will run on without problems.

#23: Pump your own gas. Self-service prices are generally cheaper than full-service ones.

#24: Shop around for the best prices-per-gallon as you would groceries.

#25: Avoid 'topping off' your tank. Chances are that even if you manage to prevent some gas running onto the ground you'll still lose some due to expansion once it warms up in the tank.

#26: Park your car facing downhill to avoid spilling gas.

#27: Park your car in the shade to reduce gas evaporation.

#28: Plan your routes ahead of time. Check out street maps of areas you frequent and experiment with different courses on occasion which appear promising. Sometimes you'll find great short cuts that'll cut both your future trip times and traffic problems.

Want more? Even if they're a bit more involved than the ideas above? Here you go!

100+ Hypermiling / ecodriving tips & techniques for better mpg

15 Real Ways to Save Money on Gasoline June 26th, 2008

Truths and myths about how to save on gas June 26, 2008

10 Easy Hypermile Tricks That Save You Gas Jun 24, 2008 By Doug

100 mpg? For 'hypermilers,' that sounds about right By Chris Woodyard, USA TODAY; 6-24-08

10 Myths About Saving Money on Gasoline by Jeffrey Strain; 12/06/07

10 Easy Ways to Increase Your Gas Mileage

13 Must-Know Tricks to Max Out Your Road-Trip MPGs

Six common driving habits that can easily increase your pain at the pump

Hypermiling: Breaking the 100-MPG Barrier - Inside Line By Terril Yue Jones; 06-04-2008

10 Quick Fuel Efficiency Tips to Beat the Gas Crunch

Average gasoline prices around the world

Ten Top Tips for Saving Gas by Jerry Dawson; May 22. 2008

10 Quick Fuel Efficiency Tips to Beat the Gas Crunch By Benjamin Jones; May 22, 2008

The Fast & The Frugal You can have good fuel economy and performance. By Matt DeLorenzo; August 2008

Stingiest Sippers: The 10 Most Fuel-Efficient Vehicles in the U.S. BY JARED HOLSTEIN, PHOTOGRAPHY BY AARON KILEY AND THE MANUFACTURERS June 2008

Which Cars Have the Best Gas Mileage? Only 15 cars for sale in the U.S. get combined gas mileage of 30 mpg or better. We tell you what they are by Jim Henry; August 3, 2008

Get More Than 40 Miles Per Gallon Without a Hybrid

6 gas-saving myths Sure you want to save gas, but there's a lot of bad advice on how to do it. Some of it makes no difference, and some of it can wind up costing you.

Gas Crisis Fuels Dubious Online Offers Beware of Internet sites promising cheap gas, free gas, or savings of 60 percent at the pump by Tom Spring, PC World Jul 29, 2008

World Gas CRISIS: Highest (and lowest) Prices From Around The Globe!

Ten Things You Should Know About Scooters By: Sasha Pave 7-23-08

The Best Electric Scooters Of 2008: A Review

6 Retarded Gas Saving Schemes (People Are Actually Trying) By Son Tran 7-14-08

Top 10 ways to Increase your MPG

"Save money by pre-purchasing gas at today’s prices, then fill up with your MyGallons Card when prices rise. No matter how high prices at the pump will go, the price of the gallons you’ve purchased will be locked-in."

-- MyGallons.com

-- Service Lets Drivers Lock In Gasoline Prices By REUTERS Published: June 30, 2008

8 Geeky Ways to Save Gas 07.02.08 by Erik Rhey

Best Gas Mileage by Vehicle Class

Best fuel economy for the buck What to buy when you need to make every dollar count July 2008

How to Save Money on Gas, Without Driving Less June 25, 2008

Startup Converting Ford F-150s Into 41 MPG Plug-in Hybrid Electric Vehicles by Clayton B. Cornell; July 28th, 2008

How to Modified Bike Into Mini-Cars? Teach Now

Open Source Civic EV Kit

Converting gas-powered cars to electric By Curt Merrill 8-14-08

CLICK HERE for zillions more tips on how to save money on gas.

Copyright © 2005-2008 by J.R. Mooneyham. All rights reserved.