Gas is expensive, just like everything else these days. But we still need to fill up at the pump, so it’s important to make every drop count. Here are some tips to maximize your vehicle’s fuel efficiency from the U.S. Department of Energy.

Drive more efficiently–Speeding and quick starts/stops waste gas. According to the DOE, it can decrease your gas mileage by 33% on the highway and 5% in town. Observe the speed limit (gas mileage decreases drastically above 50 mph). Remove excess weight (100 extra pounds in your vehicle can reduce gas mileage by 2%). Avoid idling when parked–turn your vehicle off instead. Cruise control on the highway helps maintain a constant speed and saves gas. Use overdrive gears to reduce engine speed, save gas, and reduce engine wear.

Keep your car in good shape–Keep your engine tuned. Dealing with minor/major engine repairs can improve your gas mileage 4-40%. Keep tires properly inflated to improve your mileage by 3%. This will also make them safer and last longer. Use the recommended grade of motor oil, which can improve mileage by 2%.

Plan and combine trips–Don’t make three trips from your house to do errands. Plan where you need to go and get it all done while the engine is warmed up and running efficiently. Also consider car pools, public transit, or working from home when possible. Try to avoid rush hour and routes with multiple stop lights.

Choose an efficient vehicle–If you are looking for a new vehicle, go to the DOE’s Find and Compare Cars section for gas mileage estimates for 1984-2014 model year cars.

Highway Tire Service & Collision is a family owned automotive service center in Terrell, NC.