AAA offers helpful ways to save money on gas

According to AAA, for every pound of pressure your vehicle’s tires are low, fuel efficiency is reduced by as much as two percent.

According to AAA, for every pound of pressure your vehicle’s tires are low, fuel efficiency is reduced by as much as two percent.

This doesn’t sound like a lot, but it adds up fast. AAA is offering free tire gauges and the following advice on how to get the most out of a tank of gas and keep more money in your wallet this summer.

“Motorists have more control over optimizing their vehicle’s fuel efficiency than many may realize,” said AAA Washington’s vice president of automotive services, John Milbrath. “Regular maintenance, driving techniques and when the vehicle is fueled up, all play a significant part of fuel consumption.”

Checking your tire pressure is one of the easiest ways to quickly improve fuel efficiency. Tire pressure should be checked monthly and when the tires are cold.

If you do not have a tire gauge, AAA will give you one for free at any of its 26 offices in Washington and northern Idaho, June 30-July 3. Offices are closed July 4 in observance of Independence Day.

The Redmond AAA office is located at 7950 164th Ave. NE, Suite 102. For other locations, visit

Regular vehicle maintenance inspections with an automotive technician are recommended, especially before heading out on the road this summer under harsh weather conditions.

These inspections will identify many of the problems linked to reduced fuel efficiency, such as dirty air filters, clogged fuel filters and malfunctioning spark plugs.

Plus, fluid replacement based on the schedule recommended in your vehicle’s owner’s manual can optimize your vehicle’s performance.

How you drive can also influence your fuel efficiency. AAA recommends:

• Gradually accelerate from a stop

• Maintain steady speeds

• Anticipate traffic conditions and stops

• Decelerate by coasting when possible

• Use cruise control when possible

• Travel at moderate speeds — higher speeds require more fuel to overcome air resistance

To prevent wasting gasoline through evaporation, fill up your gas tank during the cooler temperatures of the day and make sure your gas cap is made for your vehicle and fits tightly.

Motorists should use the grade of fuel recommended in their owner’s manual. Purchasing premium gasoline, if not required, is a waste of money.

When hitting the open road this summer, keep the following fuel-saving tips in mind:

• Take the vehicle that gets the best fuel efficiency

• Use the air conditioning conservatively and utilize the “recirculation” setting if the vehicle has one, or drive during cooler temperatures

• Lighten your load and store luggage inside the vehicle for better wind resistance

• Avoid congested roadways where starts and stops waste fuel

• Choose a route that allows you to maintain a constant speed

• Choose a vacation destination where only minimal driving is necessary once you arrive

For these and other fuel-saving tips, pick up the AAA Gas Watcher’s Guide brochure at any AAA office or on the Web at