By Cars.com EditorsMay 13, 2009
About the video
Cars.com's Patrick Olsen shows you some tips for saving fuel.
(upbeat music) Hi, I'm Patrick Olsen, managing editor for Cars.com. You know, as gas prices keep going up, they may be $4 a gallon by the time you see this, everyone is interested in saving money.
But if you're not in the market for a Prius or hydrogen fuel-cell car, there are things you can do with the car you've already got. And we're gonna show you some tips that can help you save a lot of money over time. If you're trying to figure out the question about octane gas-levels for your car, remember the two Rs: required versus recommended. Now, if your auto maker only recommends premium gas, you can probably skip by with the cheaper stuff. But if that auto maker requires premium gas, don't damage your car, put in the high octane stuff. There are two things you might not think about when it comes to gas mileage, but those are your tires and your engine. You want to make sure that your tires are inflated properly and to the right amount. And for that, you want to check the sticker on the door jam, not what's written on the tire. In addition, you wanna make sure your engine is working at its optimal best, because that better performance will mean better mileage overall. Weight plays an important factor in trying to save gas. So if you've got some unnecessary items in your car, make sure that you take them out when you go driving. Now, that can include people. Do you have your transit pass? No. Get the hell out. So, the easiest way to save gas when you're driving is to make sure you're not putting your pedal to the metal. And what I mean by that is no jack rabbit starts, no powering your way through the intersection to beat the other guy. It means slow and steady from a dead stop. That'll save you a lot of gas over time. In addition, your car is gonna run much more efficiently when you're going in the top gear of your car at a relatively low speeds. And so that means going more like at 55 miles an hour when you're in fifth or sixth gear, depending on your car. I know it'll be tempting the next time you go on vacation to put a roof rack or something else on top of your car to save space. But don't succumb to that temptation. Anything you put on top of the car is gonna cost you money. The more wind resistance, the worse the gas mileage is, the more it's gonna cost you in the pocket book. It's an age old question: should drivers use the air conditioning, or roll the windows down when they're trying to cool off their car? Well, not much of an issue for me today, but it's an important money issue for most drivers. What happens when you use the air conditioning is that yes, it does rob that engine of some power. And it's gonna cost you a little bit in gas mileage. But what's worse today, the way that cars are engineered, is to roll the windows down. The aerodynamics mean that if the windows are all open, your car is gonna go much slower and you're gonna burn more gas. Of all the technologies available to drivers today, the best way to save gas is to not drive at all. So if carpooling or taking public transit is an option for you, you can save 50% on your gas just by riding to work with a coworker or a neighbor. So there's no need for you to have to rush out and buy a hybrid. If you want to save gas, follow these tips and you'll see the savings add up over time. <v Narrator>For more car related news, go to cars.com or our blog KickingTires.