As gas prices rise,
enjoythedrive.com suggests several ways drivers can save money at the
"Everybody has become uncomfortably aware of their vehicles’ fuel
economy," says Chris Horn, vice president of communications for SEMA,
the Specialty Equipment Market Association. "While you can save money
by driving fewer miles, that isn't an option for most of us. Fortunately, it's
easy for practically any vehicle to get better gas mileage. And there's a
bonus: Many modifications that enhance fuel economy also improve your
vehicle's performance, and they reduce emissions."
Enjoythedrive.com offers the following money-saving tips:
1. Check your tires. Low tires not only reduce fuel economy, they wear out
faster. If you're not diligent about using a tire pressure gauge, you might
consider installing a tire monitoring system to alert you whenever it's time to
2. Make life easier for your engine. Engines hate friction, so anything
you can do to reduce it will make your motor--and your wallet--happier. For
starters, change your oil regularly, and use a high-quality or synthetic motor
oil to further reduce internal friction. Oil additives can reduce friction, too.
3. Light a fire. Is your engine overdue for a tune-up? If so, new spark plugs
and wires will make a huge difference. Even if you're not behind in
maintenance, an upgrade to high-performance spark plugs and low-
resistance plug wires can improve fuel economy and performance, as well
as reduce emissions.
4. Breathe deeply. If you've ever tried to drink a thick milkshake through a
straw, you know how hard it is to pull fluid through an opening that's too
small. Your engine may be trying to gulp air through a small intake system--
or through a dirty air filter. Something as simple as changing to a new high-
flow air filter can help your engine inhale more easily.
5. Let it out. If your engine is trying to exhale through an exhaust system
that’s too small, a high-flow muffler or headers can help. Also, make sure
your catalytic converter isn't clogged (you'll know, because your exhaust
will smell like rotten eggs). When it's time to change, a high-flow "cat" will
further increase your fuel economy.
6. Don't idle while you're waiting. When you aren't moving and the engine's
running, you're getting 0 miles per gallon. If you're going to be sitting still for
more than a couple minutes, shut off the engine.
7. Don't floor it. It may be fun to see how fast your vehicle can accelerate,
but it’s definitely not the way to optimize your fuel economy.
For more information on improving gas mileage and other automotive tips,
. SEMA’s consumer Web site has articles on
everything from wheels and tires to driving with children and pets, as well
as information on the latest specialty auto accessories.
SEMA, the Specialty Equipment Market Association, represents the $26
billion specialty automotive industry. Founded in 1963, the trade
association has more than 4,500 member companies. It is a
source of research data, trends and market growth information for
automakers and the specialty auto products industry. The industry provides
appearance, performance, comfort, convenience and technology products
for passenger cars, minivans, trucks, SUVs and recreational vehicles. For
more information, contact SEMA at 1575 S. Valley Vista Dr., Diamond Bar,
CA, 91765-3914; call 909/396-0289.