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Top Five Ways to Cut Fuel Costs Nearly in Half

By Trevor Dorchies | September 21, 2011
Fuel economy is a hot-button topic as gas prices continue to climb toward $4 a gallon but drivers can still control how much money they pay at the pump. In fact, drivers drivers who pay attention to a few factors can see a 45 percent reduction in fuel consumption, according to a recently released study by the University of Michigan. Here is a list of five ways to cut down on fuel costs and increase fuel economy. 1. Lighter Foot = Better MPGs It's that simple. Drivers who don't mash the gas pedal and possess a calm driving style can cut fuel consumption by about 30 percent. 2. Drive Smart There are a few different techniques drivers can practice while behind the wheel to preserve fuel. Strategic decisions such as not falling behind on engine maintenance, keeping tires inflated at the proper levels, and using the right engine oil increase fuel economy by as much as 40 percent. Choosing a fuel-friendly route and loading a vehicle correctly also boost fuel economy. 3. Vehicle Selection By choosing to drive a car over a minivan or light-duty truck will increase fuel economy greatly. The average mpg for a 2011 model year car is 23.7 compared to a minivan's 19.4 mpg, an SUV's 19.2 mpg, and a truck's 17.2 mpg. 4. Route Selection If possible, find a route with low traffic and flat terrain compared to traveling hills and congested roadways. A flat route can boost a vehicle's mpgs by 15-20 percent compared to traveling on hilly terrain or a congested freeway. Driving on an open freeway compared to one full of cars can also boost fuel economy by 20-40 percent. 5. Vehicle Operation Not using the vehicle's air conditioner can boost fuel economy up to 25 percent and using the cruise control function on the highway can increase fuel economy by seven percent. Letting a vehicle sit and idle for more than a minute can also cut into fuel economy. Do you try to conserve fuel while driving? Tell us how you boost or conserve fuel when behind the wheel in the comment section below. Source: University of Michigan