With the summer driving season in full force, drivers are looking for ways to alleviate the pain at the pump. Some simple steps can make a big difference in your fuel economy so you can save money and get the most out of every gallon.



 

Tip of the Week

With the summer driving season in full force, drivers are looking for ways to alleviate the pain at the pump. Some simple steps can make a big difference in your fuel economy so you can save money and get the most out of every gallon.

Here are some tips from Pat Keating, manager of technical engineering for Yokohama Tire Corporation:

- Keep your tires properly inflated. Once a month, when the tires are cold (at least three to four hours after the vehicle has been driven), check tire pressure with a reliable tire gauge. Be sure the valve stems have a plastic or metal cap to keep dirt out and seal against leakage.

- Slow down. All vehicles lose fuel economy at speeds above 55 mph. Driving 55 mph instead of 75 mph can reduce fuel cost by 25 percent. Driving 65 mph instead of 75 mph can save 13 percent.

- Turn off your engine if you're stopped for more than a couple of minutes. Fuel efficiency savings of up to 19 percent are possible by not letting your engine idle too long while stationary.

- Taking off from a stoplight like a drag racer and then slamming on the brakes to stop consumes gas at a faster rate. Accelerating less and slowing moderately can increase fuel efficiency by more than 30 percent. Also, many traffic lights are timed for efficient traffic flow, so you'll hit more green lights in a row by maintaining the speed limit.

- Tires must be replaced when the tread is worn down to 2/32 of an inch. An easy test: place a penny into a tread groove. If part of Lincoln's head is covered by the tread, you're driving with the proper amount of tread. If you can see all of his head, you should buy a new tire.

- Tires should be rotated at least every 6,000 to 8,000 miles and the alignment should be checked once a year. Misaligned tires can cause the car to scrub, which lowers mileage and causes unnecessary tire wear.