Wanna Save on Gas? You’ll Spend Less by Doing Less Behind the Wheel

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The recent rise of gas prices has been followed, inevitably, by reams of consumer tips for dealing with the rise of gas prices. But which of the many tips in circulation save drivers the most money? It turns out that by far, the best way to trim gas expenses is also the easiest, basically accomplished when a driver does less with his feet.

The Star-Tribune’s John Ewoldt did a bit more than just rehash the Consumer Federation’s 10 recommended gas-saving tips. He reordered the tips so that the most cost-effective strategies were at the top of the list.

Most of the tips require drivers to take some action by, say, paying a mechanic to straighten the alignment or provide a tune up. But the two biggest money savers involve inaction. By not riding the brakes, a driver will save the equivalent of $1.35 per gallon in gas, and, quite obviously, he’ll also save down the line by wearing out the brakes more slowly. Similarly, a driver who does less with the gas pedal—accelerating (and decelerating) smoothly, rather than the leadfoot approach—can save as much as 33% in gas on the highway, for a savings of up to 68¢ a gallon.

Removing weight from one’s car, for example, is another recommended way to save on gas, but you’d only be saving 6¢ a gallon for every 100 pounds removed. Should you do it? Sure. But realize that you’ll save way more by controlling your feet and taking a more laid-back approach behind the wheel.

In related news, amid speculation that gas prices may hit $5 by July, observers are accusing major investors of market manipulation, according to the Des Moines Register (by way of USA Today).

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