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What is hypermiling and how does it help save on gas?

AAA offers several tips to help make that very expensive tank of gas last longer.

HOUSTON — Right now, the state average for a gallon of gas is over $4 across Texas.
That's an 80-cents increase in a week. And half a tank today costs the same as a full tank a year ago.

With tight budgets, some people are spending are feeling the pain at the pump.

Tack on the stop-and-go traffic in a very spread out Houston and that tank of gas goes fast.

And there's no real relief in sight. 

"In the short term, we’re anticipating that gas prices are going to continue to rise," said Joshua Zuber with AAA Texas.

But there are some ways to help ease the blow of spending so much money to fill up your vehicle. It's called hypermiling to maximize fuel efficiency.

Zuber says start from the outside in. 

"You want to check the battery, engine and tires. Make a good bet -- B-E-T -- that you’ll arrive safely," he said.

Especially those tires.

"You want to make sure that they’re properly inflated. Under-inflated tires can be a huge safety hazard in general, but also under-inflated tires can reduce your vehicle’s fuel economy," Zuber said.

Check gas prices across Houston at any time at KHOU.com/GasPrices

And follow the speed limit.

"Because the faster you’re going, you’re increasing the aerodynamic drag on your vehicle," Zuber warned. "You want to avoid those jackrabbit starts, right? Because you’re going to really increase your fuel consumption when you have hard accelerations."

Take your foot off the gas pedal and safely coast into those stops.

And hit cruise control on bright sunny dry days like today.

"Yeah, minimizing the air conditioner can improve your fuel economy as well," Zuber said.

AAA also said drivers really need to cut down on idling. So don't warm up your vehicle during this weekend's cold front and avoid long lines at the drive-thru fast food spots. You can save fuel by parking and going inside.

"Every penny counts for most folks. So you want to make sure you’re maximizing your fuel economy as best as you can," Zuber said.

So plan ahead. Try to make multiple stops during one trip instead of several trips. 

And shop around, prices can vary by the pump.


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