The automotive industry is striving to increase fuel efficiency in new vehicles. The U.S. government will require an unadjusted fuel economy of 54.5 miles per gallon by 2025 for new cars. The new rules are expected to create 484,000 jobs and decrease oil consumption in the country by 1.5 million barrels a day by 2030.
Fuel prices are increasing now though. According to AAA's Fuel Gauge Report, gas prices have been significantly increasing and officials believe they will continue to do so. As of August 21, 2012, price of fuel was averaging $3.72, up from $3.42, on August 1.
“The outlook for the next few weeks is grim,” said David Parsons, AAA’s chief executive. “In prior years this was a time when prices started downward, but speculation in oil futures is driving the price up every day."
Several factors are contributing to unstable fuel prices, including the fragile state of the U.S. economy, increased prices of corn caused by drought driving up ethanol prices and the Iranian conflict.
Tips to Save on Fuel
Whether you are in a fuel efficient hybrid or gas guzzling SUV, there is always something you can do to increase gas mileage in the car you are driving.
This appears at the top of the list because it is one of the best and easiest ways to save on fuel. As speed increases, fuel efficiency decreases exponentially. A trip will not take much longer and you'll have plenty more to spend when you get to where you're going, not to mention you could be avoiding the cost of a speeding ticket.
This goes for accelerating as well. Keeping your speed up with the transmission allows the car to work as effectively as possible, not wasting any gas.
Park in the shade
This summer has been one of the hottest on record, parking your car in the shade can significantly save on gas.
"If you let your car bake in the sun there's going to be a greater amount of evaporative emissions that take place than if you park in the shade," said Jim Kliesch, research associate at the American Council for an Energy-Efficient Economy and vehicle analyst for GreenerCars.com.
It is also a good idea to purchase a windshield shade to block the heat from entering the inside of your car. If you have a garage, be sure to use it. Not only does this block the heat but during the winter months, your car stays warm and you won't have to waste as much fuel on heating your car.
Check tire pressure
According to another AAA study, 85 percent of drivers do not know how to properly inflate their tires. The report showed that under-inflated tires heat up faster than normally inflated tires, causing excess flexing on the sidewall, increasing the tire's heat. This is not only potentially dangerous, causing a vehicle to be harder to handle, but it also significantly decreases fuel economy.
Check the filter
An air filter restricts the amount of airflow to the engine when it is dirty, making your car work harder, reducing its performance and fuel efficiency. Changing an air filter can save as much as 10 percent on gas, saving 15 cents per gallon at the pump.
Use the correct oil
The proper oil can save a car between 1 and 2 percent on gas mileage, so although you might think its a better deal because its cheaper, it might be costing you in the end.
Keep up with maintenance
This should go without saying, but a car's performance depends on your care for it.
"Always follow the manufacturer-recommended maintenance," said Brian Moody, road test editor at Edmunds.com. "The car's designed to run a certain way. If you neglect it, it won't be as efficient."
No, this doesn't save fuel, just your life.