Common sense to stretch your gasoline budget - WTOC-TV: Savannah, Beaufort, SC, News, Weather & Sports

How to stretch your gasoline budget

It's a common sight across the country. Gas prices will go over three dollars a gallon. Can you actually save money by keeping your car in shape? The answer is yes.

Some of those answers are found under the hood. One simple step is all it takes. 

Bobby Tyson is a repair shop owner.  

"Your air filter keeps the air clean going into the engine. And when your air filter gets restricted, then it's not getting the proper air flow into the engine. Thus again your ratio is off [and] your engine is having to work harder," Tyson said. 

He added that the oil you put in your engine can also make a big difference.  

"Synthetic oil has more viscosity in it, so it allows the engine to work easier, thus saving gas there," Tyson explained.

How you drive can also eat up gas. 

"It's been proven that when you fly through a city and obey the traffic signals, you're only there two minutes earlier than the person who did the speed limit," said Tyson. "Plus, you've used twice the amount of fuel doing so."

What about that little warning display on your dashboard?

Dan Nord owns another repair shop.

"The check engine light is informing you that there's something wrong which could be causing you to be running too rich and using more gas," Nord said. 

He also said steady is the word if you want to burn less fuel. 

"Aggressive driving or fast acceleration actually uses much more gas than holding a steady, constant speed, so when you use your cruise control whenever possible, that will help you,"  Nord added.

Perhaps the best advice is when the rubber meets the road.  

"If you keep your tires at the manufacturer's recommended mileage, you're going to reduce the resistance which is going to allow you to get better fuel mileage," Nord said.  "Same with an alignment. If you're out of alignment, it's going to cause more friction." 

The bottom line: Spending just a few dollars right now on common sense car tips can save you a whole lot of money at the pump down the road.

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