How to save bucks at the pump - Live5News.com | Charleston, SC | News, Weather, Sports

Get more at the gas pump

With today's high gasoline prices all across America, our cars are both gas and money guzzlers. But our auto pro, Steve Strope, has a few ways to lessen the pain.

"Now more than ever, it's important for everyone to save at the pump. And no matter what you drive, you want to be efficient to get the optimum gas mileage for the money you're spending," says Strope.

One of the ways to save at the pump is your tires, believe it or not. In fact, you'll save a couple of ways. One, with your air pressure -- if they're under or over inflated, your motor's working too hard. Have you ever tried peddling a bicycle with flat tires? It's pretty tiring. So if you're rolling around with an under-inflated tire, your motor's working harder, drinking more gasoline and spending your money.

It's important to check your air pressure and also to have your tires rotated. If you check in your owner's manual, they'll tell you the suggested amount of miles of when you should rotate your tires.

"Imagine trying to run with somebody's hand over your mouth. It would make it real hard to breathe and you wouldn't run very well," says Strope. "Well, your motor breathes through an air filter. So to get optimum fuel efficiency, saving your money, you need to keep a clean filter and let your motor breathe."

Besides maintenance, there's a couple of things you can do with your driving style to help save money and wear and tear on your car. One is how you apply your throttle and your brake. Being slow and easy, keeping things stable, and no panic stops, smooth with the brake. Both of those will save your fuel consumption, your money and your abuse on your brakes.

"Plus, when you're driving on a long stretch of road, on a highway or on a trip, and the situation lends itself, you can set your cruise control, thus making your motor just sip the gasoline it needs," adds Strope. "So whether you own a hybrid or a big truck like mine, driving smoothly and following some of these tips will help you save money at the pump."

According to the Automobile Club of America, making simple adjustments to your driving habits like Steve suggests can reduce your gas expense by 25 percent annually.

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