The Car and Truck Fleet and Leasing Management Magazine

Toyota, AAIA Offer Holiday Fuel-Saving Tips for Drivers

July 05, 2002

With gasoline prices still high, Toyota has offered these holiday fuel-saving tips for drivers: - Control vehicle and engine speed: The difference between driving 55 mph and 65 mph is approximately one mile per gallon of fuel. - Use cruise control: Average drivers using cruise control can obtain up to a 6 percent increase in fuel economy. - Limit idling: Keep cool-down time to a minimum. Use sun shades to help block the greenhouse effect inside the vehicle. - Think ahead: Use vehicle's momentum instead of fuel to pick up speed on downgrades. - Plan accordingly: Avoid rush hours or major road construction as much as possible. - Check tires: Be sure your tires are properly inflated and are rotated regularly. - Regular maintenance: Change your air filter at recommended intervals. A clogged air filter can cause up to a 10 percent increase in fuel consumption. According to the Automotive Aftermarket Industry Association (AAIA), one of the simplest ways to save fuel is by keeping your car in tip-top shape. "Problems in the fuel, ignition or emission control systems hamper engine performance, and that wastes gas," says Rich White of AAIA. "Keep your engine well maintained. Another tip is to keep tires properly inflated. If all four tires are under inflated by 10 psi (pounds per square inch), fuel economy suffers by as much as 10 percent." Here are a few other ideas from AAIA to cut fuel costs: - Don't buy premium gas unless your owner's manual calls for it. Under special circumstances a higher grade may be necessary, but not for the primary purpose of improving gas mileage. - Change the oil and filter regularly. A good rule of thumb is every 3 months or every 3,000 miles. - Drive conservatively. A "heavy foot" and excessive braking waste gas. - Turn off your engine while at drive-through businesses or when waiting for your passenger. "In general," says White, "a well-maintained vehicle goes hand-in-hand with fuel efficiency." The Automotive Aftermarket Industry Association (AAIA) is a Bethesda, MD-based association whose member companies manufacture, distribute and sell motor vehicle parts, accessories, tools, equipment, materials and supplies. The organization is comprised of manufacturers, distributors, jobbers, wholesalers, retailers, manufacturers' representatives, and other companies doing business in the automotive aftermarket. AAIA formerly served the aftermarket as APAA and ASIA.
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