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Cruise control, carpools help save gas

Heidi Rice
Western Garfield County Staff

With gas prices pushing nearly $3 per gallon right now, there are some things motorists can do to help conserve fuel and help ease the drain on their wallets.

According to Mary Greer, spokesperson for AAA Colorado, the first thing is to ensure your vehicle is in good condition. That means checking the oil, the fluids and having a clean air filter.

The speed at which you travel also affects how much gas you consume.



“Cruise control allows the car to adjust everything at an even pace,” Greer said. “If you accelerate or do hard stops or starts, that uses more gas.”

Big loads being hauled in your car or truck can also create an additional drag and affect gas mileage.



Carpooling or combining errands to be done all in one trip can save money on gas.

“About 40 percent of our energy is used in commuting,” Greer said. “Try carpooling to take your kids to activities. And instead of making several short trips to run errands, try combining them all in one trip.”

The United States is the largest consumer of energy in the world, using 25 percent, Greer said.

And despite the devastation that Hurricane Katrina caused recently in the southeast portion of the country, damaging refineries and pipelines and causing gas prices to soar, it might make consumers think a little harder and perhaps change their ways.

“Katrina might help our country look at how we really use energy,” Greer said. “Right now, people should go on with business as usual, but they should look at ways to conserve.”


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