East Tennessee service manager has tips for stretching your gas dollar

KNOXVILLE, Tenn. (WVLT) -- At the rate we're going, $3.00 gas prices may be in our rear view mirrors by Memorial Day, and some people are buying cars that get more gas mileage, while others are stepping into the future by getting a hybrid.

But what can you do if trading for a more fuel efficient car is not possible?

Volunteer TV talked with a local service manager to learn more about what you can do to squeeze more miles out of your gas tank.

So, what's at the top of the list to help you save gas when you drive your car, truck or van?

Scott Hale is the service manager at Toyota of Knoxville and says, "Make sure your air-filter stays clean. That's the most important thing you can do for your car."

How about extra weight?

Hale says, "If you're hauling things, make sure what you're hauling is what you need to haul."

Like taking out the back bench?

Hale says, "That's an excellent thing to do. If you're not going to be using that third row seat, take it out. Not much, but it may pick you up a tenth of a mile to the gallon."

But when it comes to something like hauling around a camper top on your pick-up...

Hale says, "Those can actually help me get some mileage because I get aerodynamics off of them."

He says the air pressure suggested in your owner's manual is mostly about a smooth ride not saving on gas.

Hale says, "If you can stand the ride, in other words have a little more air pressure in the tires, you'll actually get a little better gas mileage out of the car."

And check that air pressure.

Hale says, "No, matter whether you're using nitrogen or using regular air, every two weeks, check your tire pressure. Get you a good tire gauge and make a habit of it."

And what about keeping the A-C turned off?

Hale says, "Most people will probably find air-conditioning with the windows up, they get better mileage than they do actually with the windows down."

Smoother driving habits also help.

He says, "Drive it like it's your mom's car and you have to turn it back to her."

Also on Scott Hale's list is to read your owner's manual and keep your car tuned-up. He says to "run good fuel," too, and by that he means to use the fuel suggested by the manufacturer, because your car's been set-up to run ideally on that grade, whether it be 87-octane, or 89, or high test.

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