Think you know every trick to improving your gas mileage? Here are fuel-saving strategies that aren't common knowledge.
Step 1: Don't sweat it Go on -- enjoy your air conditioner on the highway. Consumer Reports says that AC's gas-guzzling reputation is undeserved. And, at higher speeds, opening the windows or sunroof can hurt fuel economy by increasing drag.
Step 2: Run on empty Don't fill up your tank until you're practically on empty; the less fuel you're toting, the lighter your car, and the more efficiently it will run.
Step 3: Turn nozzle upside down After filling up your car, turn the nozzle upside down before you remove it from your tank. You'll get another half a cup of gas that's stuck in the hose.
Step 4: Tighten your gas cap Tighten your gas cap after filling up so you don't let any precious fuel evaporate.
TIP: Try to park in the shade. This will also help prevent evaporation.
Step 5: Use your overdrive Put your car in overdrive for highway driving. It lowers your RPM, or revolutions per minute, which saves gas. Check your owner's manual for the recommended speed at which you may use overdrive.
TIP: If you're due for new tires, get radials; they improve gas mileage by two or three percent.
Step 6: Stay in your lane Stay in one lane as much as possible; weaving uses up more gas.
Step 7: Cruise correctly Use cruise control when you're on a flat highway, where it can increase mileage by 7%. But don't use it on uneven roads, where it's not efficient.
Step 8: Turn off everything Turn off all electronics and climate controls before you cut the engine. With the extras off, your engine won't have to strain so hard to restart, leading to better gas mileage.
FACT: The Model T got 15 miles per gallon, just three mpg less than the average SUV.