Mother Earth Living

Save Money at the Gas Pump

Do you know the best ways to save gas? Take this quiz and test your knowledge.
By Vivienne Jannatpour
January/February 2006
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With fuel prices at all-time highs, saving gas is a downright necessity. Take this quiz and test your fuel-efficiency savvy.

1. Which actions will not save you money?
a. Use the recommended grade of motor oil
b. Fill up with premium gasoline
c. Don’t top off the tank
d. Tighten the gas cap

2. Driving techniques impact your gas consumption. Which of these will not help?
a. Warm up the car
b. Observe the speed limit
c. Use overdrive gears
d. Drive smoothly

3. True or False? You will always save gas if you turn off the air conditioning.

4. Which form of car maintenance saves gas?
a. Get a tune-up
b. Keep your tires properly inflated
c. Check and replace air filters regularly
d. All of the above


1. b. Unless your car requires it, pricey premium gas won’t boost fuel economy or performance. Our advice: Unless your engine is knocking, skip it.

2. a. Idling, which gets zero miles per gallon, is not an effective way to warm up your vehicle, even in cold weather. In fact, excessive idling can damage today’s electronic engines (Canada’s Office of Energy Efficiency). If you’re worried about a cold start, drive gently until the engine has reached its normal operating temperature. Also, resist speeding. Each five miles per hour you drive over sixty miles per hour is like paying an additional $0.21 (on average) per gallon.

3. False. In a highway test conducted at a steady sixty-five miles per hour, cars got the same mileage whether they drove with their windows down or the air conditioning on. In stop-and-go traffic, however, you save by turning off the air conditioning and rolling down your windows.

4. d. You can improve your gas mileage by about 3.3 percent by keeping your tires inflated properly and 10 percent by replacing a clogged air filter. And fixing a serious maintenance problem such as a faulty oxygen sensor can improve your mileage by as much as 40 percent!


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