Saving money on gas – and saving the environment

by Kelly Bush, KSBY 6 Action News (ABC)

Click here to watch a video of the report.

There are a few things you can do to help save money on gas in these difficult economic times – and also help save the environment.

Looking to fill up your gas tank less often? Here’s tip number one: check your air filter.

"You’re supposed to be able to see through it. If you hold it up into the sunlight and this is a brand new one, this is what they’re supposed to look like," mechanic Bob Masterson demonstrated.

Masterson says a clean air filter could save at least a couple miles per gallon.

Tip number two: check your alignment. An improper one could reduce gas mileage by as much as 10 percent.

Number three: get a tune up.

"Basically lowers emissions and lowers gas mileage," said Masterson.

Tip number four focuses on your tires.

"The higher the tire pressure, the better the gas mileage you get," Masterson explained.

For tip number five, take a close look at your gas cap.

"Gas cap has to be sealed so the evaporation system works right," said Masterson.

Number 6: lighten your load.

"You’re using your car as if it’s a storage closet, and if you remove those items, you know, the less weight your engine is having to pull, the more you’re saving on gasoline," said Richard Holober with the Consumer Federation of California.

Holober also lumps tips seven, eight, and nine all together: go slow and steady and take your foot off the brake.

"There’s a tremendous amount of savings in just slowing it down and steadying your driving," Holober said.

And tip number 10: don’t idle.

These may all sound like little things, but they add up to big savings to your pocket, and the environment.

"If everyone did this, we’re talking about a million barrels a day reduction in our consumption of oil," said Masterson.

Think about that the next time you are running on empty.