I read that driving slower can reduce mileage consumption, so I decided to try driving 5 to 10 miles an hour slower than normal. I was amazed that after doing this for the duration of two fill-ups, I found that I had increased my mileage consumption by about 2 miles per gallon from 21 mpg to 23 mpg. That translates to saving one gallon of gas for every 10 gallon fill-up, which is pretty significant.
-- Robin F.
In busy traffic, I try to leave a three-second gap between me and the car in front. I don't have to brake or accelerate as often.
-- Ed K.
When driving on the highway, I use the cruise control on the Jetta (I also have a Smart, which doesn't have one) and set it between 100 and 110 km/hour (between around 62 and 68 miles per hour), depending on the traffic.
I drive most of the time in the right-hand lane and don't stomp on the accelerator.
In town, I try to watch the light cycles, to time my approach with the green light; only works sometimes. I don't make great use of the brakes, and accelerate gently. I let others get by me, so they aren't piled up behind me. It seems to me, though, that there are fewer speed demons than there used to be. I used to drive at 120 km/hour (around 74 mph) on the highway, but rarely do now, just to get around a truck or something.
I have timed all the stoplights that are one minute or more in length. I turn the engine off at these lights. I have two autos that are manual shift. If possible, I restart the car with the clutch if on a hill or slope. This saves on the starter. I do no jack-rabbit starts. I try to keep a constant speed when on the interstate or freeway. I do not rest my right foot on the brake pedal. I keep the tires inflated to 35 pounds psi. I keep the oil and filter changed every 6,000 miles. If possible, I turn the engine off early and coast to a stop if parking and I can see that I have plenty of room. Where I work we have a very large parking lot. I always park as close to the front of the lot as I can so I can get to the street as quickly as possible. From the street to the back of the lot is one-quarter mile. I really save a lot of gas over a year's time by parking near the front.
-- Eugene H.
Went to all diesel vehicles: VW TDI, Jeep CRD. Burn locally made fuel (Oregon biodiesel). Run maximum tire pressure. Drive 60 mph on freeway. Back off speed and allow freeway merging traffic instead of speeding up or changing lanes.
-- Terry L.
Trip planning and changing my driving technique had helped stretch a 25-gallon tank of gas to last two weeks, where it used to last only one week. To be honest, I don't really feel like these changes have really been a sacrifice.
For my husband, working from home isn't really an option. Since he drives close to 70 miles each day, he drives our most fuel-efficient automobile. He also has staggered his work day to avoid as much of rush hour as possible. We have talked about him carpooling, but he doesn't have an employee living all that close to us.
Our planning efforts seem to be paying off. Even with an 1,100-mile round trip road trip over Memorial Day (approximately 50 extra gallons of gas), our gas bill for a month was a little over $500. Before gas prices started climbing so rapidly, a normal month cost us around $300 to $350.
-- Holli S.
Compiled by Rose Raymond.