Stretch your fuel dollar with these tips

Your Money

(NewsNation) — With gas prices continuing to spike, AAA reports that 59 percent of Americans would alter the way they drive if gas went above $4. Experts say there are a few ways to stretch your dollar at the pump.

First, fill your tires.

“Tires, inflation, couple extra pounds won’t hurt it, just don’t exceed the tire, it says on the tire how many pounds you can put it, don’t exceed that,” said mechanic Zoran Sarich.

Only 19 percent of people keep their tires filled up, according to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration. The agency says properly inflating your tires can save you as much as 11 cents per gallon on fuel.

Another tip, take your foot off the gas pedal.

Be careful braking at ramps, curbs and stop lights. Nick Chabarria with AAA recommends, “coasting into that stop instead of accelerating all the way into the last moment and then slamming on the brakes.” He says you’ll burn more fuel than you need to that way.

“There ain’t no reason to rush to the light and hit the brakes. Keep a steady pedal. Cruise control is probably the best way if you have an open road,” Sarich added.

Driving slower is also key.

According to AAA, “reducing highway speeds by 5 to 10 miles per hour can actually help you increase fuel economy by 14 percent.”

Get your car serviced.

Experts also say that getting your car serviced sooner rather than later helps. Clogged air filters are also a fuel culprit.

“You definitely want something that’s not congested, the air filters are what filters the air going into the motor and if it’s clogged up, it’s definitely going to suck more fuel,” Sarich said.

He also recommends getting engine lights checked, immediately.

Be sure to roll up your windows and sunroof.

Outside air can affect your pockets, too.

“Air that comes into the car is going to slow down the vehicle, it’s like a parachute,” Sarich said.

Other ways to save include staying away from stop-and-go heavy traffic, removing weighted items from the car, monitoring air conditioning use and combining multiple outings in one trip.

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