Quite Whining and Take Action

Wednesday, October 14, 2009

Americans continue to complain about gasoline prices while doing little to help reduce their costs. Motorists grumble about oil company profits and demand government actions. However, consumers do little to seek solutions to the problem of higher transportation costs. While we cannot control gasoline prices, we can reduce our use by improving the fuel economy of our car and lowering the number of miles we drive.

The following suggestions are steps you take today to cut your costs:

1. Drive Smart
a. Observe the speed limit – fuel economy is fairly level from 30 to 60 mph but drops for speeds above 60 resulting in fuel loses of 15-20%.
b. Drive sensibly – speeding, rapid acceleration and braking can lower fuel economy from 5 to 33%.
c. Avoid excessive idling – Cars will cool down faster with the windows open
d. If you own more than one vehicle, drive the one that gets the best gas mileage.

2. Maintain your car
a. Keep your car engine tuned-up - fixing a car that is out of tune can improve mileage by 4%
b. Check and replace air filters regularly - replacing a clogged air filter can improve your car's gas mileage by 10%.
c. Remove excess weight - an extra 100 pounds in your vehicle could reduce mileage by 2%.

3. Reduce your driving mileage
a. Use carpools and ride-share programs
b. Telecommute – working from home one day a week will cut gasoline use by 20%
c. Use public transit systems
d. Plan shopping and errands to limit the number of trips.

4. Improve comuting fuel economy
a. Carpooling and ride-sharing allow vehicles with multiple passengers to use special High Occupancy Vehicle lanes.
b. Stagger your work hours to avoid peak rush hours and avoid waiting in traffic

These measures will help lower your gasoline bill, cut worldwide oil demand, and put pressure on OPEC to lower crude oil prices.

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