Tips for saving money on gas this Labor Day

It’s almost Labor Day, that magical holiday where we celebrate labor by taking the day off work. Meanwhile, gasoline prices in America may be higher than Nick Nolte driving down Pacific Coast Highway, but that doesn’t mean we have to be the victims of surging gas prices. Consumers are not powerless in controlling their fuel costs this Labor Day weekend.

“There’s a wide range of fuel-saving tactics that can help drivers get more miles from a tank of gas,” according to Joel Burrows, also known as “The Car Doctor” from Precision Tune Auto Care. “If motorists adjust their driving habits and observe some simple car techniques, they could make a significant impact on how much fuel they waste, and that translates into substantial money savings.”

Here are ten tips from the automobile physician:

– Keep tires properly inflated (recommended air pressure is posted on the driver’s door or in the glove compartment). Under inflated tires cause drag; over inflation causes improper tire-to-road contact. Both conditions will result in abnormal wear.

– Plan your day. Limit trips by running all errands at the same time or on your way to or from work.

– Have a certified technician perform an engine and emission analysis to ensure the engine is running at maximum efficiency.

– Avoid making quick starts or stops. To avoid jamming brakes, stay a good distance from the car in front of you. When possible, slow down simply by taking your foot off the gas.

– Maintain steady speeds; use cruise control on the open road.

– Do not use your air conditioner when driving in the city if your are in a warm climate. Do use your air conditioner on the open road rather than keeping windows open. (Open windows create wind drag, straining the engine.)

– Use proper octane fuel. Higher-octane gas, which produces less energy, not only costs more, it also yields lower miles per gallon.

– Don’t let the engine idle more than a minute or two. This is extremely important on cold morning start-ups.

– Today’s vehicles run on a fine film of fluids. Make sure you service all fluids on a regular basis and in accordance with the manufacturers recommendations. The engine oil level should be checked at every fill-up.

– Use the over-drive gear for highway driving…also, watch out for a deranged Nick Nolte behind the wheel.