Stillwater, Oklahoma —
• Get some air. Running with lower air pressure in a car’s tires may provide a cushier ride, but it decreases its gas mileage. Inflate the tires to the pressure the automaker recommends.
• Follow the directions. Use the grade of motor oil recommended by your car’s manufacturer. Using 5W-30 in a car designed for 5W-20 can lower its mileage by 1 to 1.5 percent.
• Plan ahead. Combine several errands into one long multipurpose trip.
• Be a smart commuter. If you can, avoid peak rush hours. Consider telecommuting. Look for carpool and ride-sharing programs and use mass transit if it’s available.
• Don’t overdo it. Fill the tank only with gas at the octane level recommended for your car. Usually, the only benefit of using premium gas (unless it’s specified) is that it lightens your wallet.
What won’t help? Consumer Reports says these gas-saving tips are “myths.”
• Changing the air filter. Many people believe that driving with a dirty air filter reduces a car’s fuel economy. In truth, however, there’s no effect on mileage in today’s cars.
• Filling up in the morning. The theory is that gas is denser when the air is cooler, so you get more for your money. In fact, the temperature of gasoline changes very little throughout the day.
• Swearing off air conditioning. The idea is that the AC puts a load on the engine. In fact, using air conditioning, especially at highway speeds, has almost no effect on a car’s mileage.
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