13 obvious and not-so-obvious ways to save money on gasoline

As gas prices soar to over $5 per gallon in the Central Valley, many drivers are trying to either drive less or take other steps to save money at the pump.

Modern vehicles track and display fuel efficiency, which allows you to easily track your progress in the short and long term.

The American Automobile Association offers the following gas-saving tips:

  1. Slow down and drive the speed limit.

  2. Avoid “jackrabbit” starts and hard acceleration.

  3. Avoid prolonged idling. If the car will be stopped for more than 60 seconds, shut off the engine to save fuel.

  4. Keep tires properly inflated.

  5. Minimize the use of air conditioning.

  6. When driving in town, adjust your speed to time the traffic lights and reduce repeated braking and acceleration.

  7. Use cruise control to help maintain a constant speed and save fuel (but not while on slippery roads).

  8. Remove unnecessary and bulky items from the car since it takes more fuel to accelerate a heavier car.

  9. Keep windows closed when traveling at highway speeds. Open windows cause aerodynamic drag.

  10. Think ahead when approaching hills. Only accelerate before you reach the hill, not while you’re on it.

  11. Avoid overfilling your gas tank, which can cause spills and waste. Never fill the gas tank past the first “click” of the fuel nozzle.

  12. After filling up, make sure the gas cap clicks three times. Improperly sealed gas caps allow fuel to vaporize.

  13. Use regular gasoline. AAA says that unless premium fuel is recommended or required by your car’s manufacturer, it provides no added benefit.

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