In case you haven't noticed, gas prices have been rising lately - and quickly. With summer finally here, gas consumption is a concern that many have as they make their summer plans. Here are some helpful hints for improving your gas mileage - some common sense and some not so - just in time for road trips, trips to the airport, and making the trek to the lake or beach:

  • Drive smoothly - be gentle with your acceleration and your brakes. Aggressive driving lowers your gas mileage.

  • Reduce idling. Why run your engine without going anywhere? If you are idling for more than 30 seconds, go ahead and turn off your car. It'll use less gas to stop and restart the engine than to sit there with it running.

  • Remove excess weight. An extra 100 pounds sitting in the back seat can reduce fuel economy as much as 2%.

  • Keep your tires inflated. Tires that are too full or too flat can reduce the efficiency of your car...meaning your gas mileage is not as great as it could be. If your car doesn't have tire pressure sensors built in, you can pick up a tire pressure sensor fairly inexpensively at your local auto supply store.

  • Change the oil. And if you don't know how, there are several places around that are more than happy to change your oil and refresh your fluids. Energy conserving or synthetic motor oil can reduce engine friction while making your car more efficient.

  • Keep your engine properly tuned. If your car is noticeably out of tune or has failed an emissions test, fixing the major problems with your car can increase your gas mileage significantly.

These are just a few tips to help make sure you get the most out of your gas money - more tips like these can be found at As always, wishing you safe trips on the roads this summer!