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N.C. Department of Environment and Natural Resources

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carpool graphicMoney Saving Driving Tips

Most drivers have a lot more control over their mileage costs than they think. Driving habits are one of the first places to look to find easy ways to save money and reduce vehicle air pollution. Consider the following tips:*

  • Modern engines don't need much time to warm up. The engine actually warms up more quickly once the car is operating, and will stay warm after stopping.
  • Slow down. Gas mileage decreases rapidly at speeds above 60 miles per hour (mph). According to Fueleconomy.gov, for each five mph you drive over 60 mph is the equivalent of paying an additional 24 cents per gallon for gas. In North Carolina, a state employee caught speeding in a state vehicle could lose his job.
  • Cut down on the idling. It wastes fuel, costs money, has zero gas mileage and pollutes the air. Turn off the engine if you anticipate a wait.
  • Avoiding jackrabbit starts and stops can increase your gas mileage and prolong the life of your brakes. Letting up on the gas often eliminates the need for braking. Stay alert for slow-downs and red lights. Anticipate bends and turns on familiar roads.
  • Cut back on using the air conditioner whenever you can.Air conditioning dramatically reduces fuel economy. Due to the extra load on the engine, air conditioning can increase your vehicle’s fuel consumption by as much as 20 percent.Most air conditioners have "economy," "maximum," or "recirculation" settings that help reduce air conditioning load and save gas.
  • Remove excess weight. An extra 100 pounds can reduce a typical car's fuel economy by up to 2 percent.
  • Keeping the engine tuned, according to your owner's manual, can increase gas mileage by an average of 4 percent.
  • Keeping your tires properly inflated and aligned can increase gas mileage up to 3 percent, improve handling and prolong the life of your tires.  

See the following websites for many other resources on saving gas mileage and vehicle costs, as well as vehicle pollution:

  1. These driving tips were taken from the Federal Trade Commission’s Consumer Alert “Saving Money at the Pump: Tips to Stretch Your Gas Dollars.”
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The DENR Sustainability Team is composed of representatives from 27 DENR divisions, offices and programs. Its mission is "to inspire a culture of sustainability within DENR by promoting environmentally responsible actions." More information on DENR Sustainability is available at portal.ncdenr.org/web/sustainability/home
Information on sustainability in buildings and lands in North Carolina is available on the state sustainability team NC Project Green website, www.ncprojectgreen.org.
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