Change your driving habits for better fuel efficiency

September 6, 2011 12:00 AM

Most drivers know that keeping tires inflated and taking your car in for regular tune-ups can have a positive effect on fuel efficiency, and this is especially important with gas prices so high. However, one area that many overlook is their own driving habits, which can also drastically affect fuel economy.

Electric vehicle advocate Paul Scott of Plug-In America recently offered some advice to the Los Angeles Times about good ways to save on fuel. These strategies work for both gas-powered vehicles and those that use an electric charge. Whether you're looking to up your MPGs or extend your range, these tips can help cut down on your gas bills each month.

The aforementioned accelerating off the line is a no-brainer, but in general a smooth acceleration is key to preserving fuel. Many cars have an "eco-mode," which can help with this aspect. Another area that can hurt fuel efficiency is the brakes. The less you need to hit these, the better, so be sure to leave a good distance between you and the car in front of you. Another strategy is to lightly reduce speed when you see a red light up ahead - this is better than slamming on the brakes every time.

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