Saving Gas As You Drive

In these days of high prices, consumers want to ensure that they are getting the highest possible gasoline mileage. Tips to increase mileage include:

• Don't idle. Engines "warm up" faster when driving. It's more fuel efficient to turn off the engine than to idle for long periods. Idling wastes fuel and money.

• Don't drive aggressively. Hard acceleration and breaking waste fuel.

• Drive no faster than the speed limit. Each 5 mph over 60 reduces fuel efficiency.

• Unload before you leave. At highway speeds, half of the engine power goes to overcoming aerodynamic "drag." Driving with loaded roof racks and even empty ski racks wastes gas.

• Turn off the air conditioner when you can. It robs power from the engine and uses additional fuel. If the weather permits, use the flow through ventilation system instead of rolling down your car windows.

• Buy regular. If your car specifies regular fuel, don't buy premium under the mistaken belief that your engine will benefit. If your car's manufacturer specifies premium, you may wish to contact the manufacturer to ask if it's all right to use regular instead. Most cars run fine on regular, which generally is less expensive than higher grades of gas.