Ways to save gas without a 'green' vehicle


"Today's cars are really the best that have ever been built," said Steve Mazor, principal technician with the Automobile Club. "The most efficient, with good power, and everything about the car has improved."

Pretty much anything you buy today will get better mileage than the last car you bought.

Assuming you drive 12,000 miles a year, at today's gas prices a car that gets 20 miles per gallon will cost you over $2,700 a year in fuel. Each increase in miles per gallon drops that fuel bill. If you can upgrade to a vehicle that gets 30 miles per gallon, your annual savings would be over $900. Over the course of typical car ownership, money saved could be in the thousands.

But even if you plan to keep your current car there are ways you can still be more fuel efficient.

Edmunds.com has put some supposed fuel-saving tips to the test.

"Addressing vehicle ownership is an important part of our site and so providing tricks and tips on how to maintain fuel economy is just a natural progression of what our readers on our site like to see," said Mo Radji with Edmunds.com.

  • Test #1 Aggressive Driving vs. Moderate Driving

    Result: Major savings potential

    The Cold Hard Facts: Up to 37 percent savings, average savings of 31 percent

    Recommendation: Stop driving like a maniac.

  • Test #2 Lower Speeds Saves Gas

    Result: Substantial savings on a long trip

    Cold Hard Facts: Up to 14 percent savings, average savings of 12 percent

    Recommendation: Drive the speed limit.

  • Test #3 Use Cruise Control

    Result: Surprisingly effective way to save gas

    Cold Hard Facts: Up to 14-percent savings, average savings of 7 percent

    Recommendation: If you've got it, use it.

  • Test #4 A/C On, Windows Up vs. A/C Off, Windows Down

    Result: Nice in theory; not true in practice

    Cold Hard Facts: No measurable difference (unless you open the sunroof, too!)

    Recommendation: Please, make yourself comfortable.

  • Test #5 Check Your Tire Pressure

    Result: Important for safety and to reduce tire wear

    Cold Hard Facts: No measurable effect on the vehicles we tested

    Recommendation: Check your tire pressure often but don't expect a big savings.

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