Weekly auto rail, with gas-saving tips, Car Q&A with Junior Damato and more.
Tip of the Week
By making a few adjustments like changing driving habits and shopping smart, you can make the most out of each gallon you pump into your tank. Here are five tips for getting real and consistent savings at the pump.
- Follow simple maintenance procedures. The most practical way to improve your fuel economy is making sure your tires are inflated properly. You can find the correct tire pressure for your vehicle on the placard inside of your door, or in your car's owner's manual. Using the recommended grade of motor oil can also increase your fuel economy by 1 to 2 percent, according to the Environmental Protection Agency.
- Use rewards programs to your advantage.
- Reduce weight and drag. You might not notice your carrying rack affecting the quality of your ride, but racks and other add-ons to your vehicle cause a lot of drag, taking a big bite out of your fuel efficiency. It pays to take them off when you aren't using them. Removing extra weight, by cleaning out everything you don't need that's stashed in your trunk or car, can also help.
- Watch the way you drive. Most cars travel with highest fuel efficiency in the 50-mph range, which begins to drop significantly the faster you go. Keeping your highway speed to the posted speed limit not only keeps you safer, but can greatly improve gas mileage. Aggressive starting and stopping also puts more stress on your engine, and uses more gasoline.
- Technology is your friend. Your mobile GPS unit can help you get where you need to go in the most efficient way possible.
According to Consumer Reports, here are the best cars of 2012:
Toyota Prius V
Did You Know
According to Experian, the average life of cars and light trucks is 11 years, double what it was in 1970.
Q: My wife wants a new 2012 Toyota Camry and suggested buying a pre-owned 2011. The salesman said the 2012 is an all-new model and has many improvements. The question is should I buy the 2011 or the 2012? The second question is about the Hybrid XLE.
A: The 2012 is an all-new and very improved Camry. With that said, there is nothing wrong with the 2011 Camry. I recently spent a week in 2012 XLE Hybrid. I also had a 2011 on my lot for sale. In my opinion if you can effort the extra money for the 2012 I would buy the 2012. Our 2012 Hybrid test car had ample power and gas mileage. It is the best of the best, 40 plus in the city. At $27,000 this is the real deal. For a few thousand less you can enter the LE version or save even more with a standard four-cylinder. Either way you will be happy.
- Junior Damato, Talking Cars columnist
GateHouse News Service