* Remove unused items from your vehicle. Store only essentials. Less weight means better gasoline mileage.
* Observe speed limits. Speeding decreases your miles per gallon, as do sudden accelerations. Anticipate traffic patterns ahead and adjust your speed gradually. Use cruise control.
* Avoid excessive engine idling. Turn off the engine while waiting for friends and family.
* Use windows and air conditioning wisely. Avoid using your air conditioner in heavy, stop-and-go traffic such as traffic jams or holiday weekend backups.
* Consolidate your daily trips and errands. Some trips may be unnecessary. Try to travel when traffic is lighter and stop-and-go conditions are less likely. Join a carpool. Walk more.
* Maintain your engine. This will help you maximize the gas mileage for your specific make and model. A single misfiring spark plug can greatly reduce gas mileage. Follow the service schedules listed in your owner's manual. Replace filters and fluids as recommended. Have engine performance problems, such as rough idling and poor acceleration, corrected at a repair facility.
Given today's high-tech engines, it's wise to have this type of work done by auto technicians who are ASE certified in engine performance. ASE was founded in 1972 as a nonprofit, independent organization dedicated to improving the quality of automotive service and repair through the voluntary testing and certification of automotive technicians.
ASE-certified technicians wear blue and white ASE shoulder insignia and carry credentials listing their exact areas of certification. Their employers often display the blue and white ASE sign.
Visit www.ase.com for more information.