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News You Can Use: Common Gas Guzzling Mistakes

Things We Do That Cost Us Money At The Gas Pump

Some of us like to think our driving styles need no improvement, but if a few tweaks could save us money wouldn't we all be listening?  

MSNBC recently published a thorough look at the common mistakes drivers make that end up wasting gas. Their data came from the government, auto consumer advocates and numerous rental car outlets. Here are the highlights:

Use the air conditioner properly:  Yes we know it's been hot lately, but using the A/C can definitely reduce your gas mileage.  At slower speeds it's recommended you turn it off all together and just roll your windows down.  The engine will have to work harder to produce cool air at slow speeds.  At speeds over 50, using the A/C is better, but if you can get away with using the "vent" setting or opening the windows, do it.  

Excessive idling: This one seems obvious but how many times have you seen a car just sitting there running for what seems like a few minutes?  MSNBC found that for every two minutes a car is idling, it uses the same amount of fuel as a mile's drive.  Keep that in mind next time you're just running in somewhere real fast and want to leave the car on.  

Stopping too much on a road trip:   Taking a few short trips from a cold start can use double the fuel used on a trip covering the same distance when the engine is warm, according to the Federal Trade Commission. Warmed-up engines operate more efficiently (and, in turn, offer better gas mileage) so  Edmunds.com says to avoid an excessive number of stops on the next road trip. Limit those bathroom breaks if you can!

So there you go.  Visit MSNBC online for the full article, and feel free to share any tips you discover in the comments with us! Also check some of our older posts on fuel saving tips.  

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