As fuel prices continue to climb upward it makes sense to try and be more fuel efficient whenever you can. For most people that means trading in the truck or SUV for a smaller car, but you can improve your efficiency by changing your driving habits as well. These tips and tricks will help you adjust your habits to be a more effective driver and to save on your fuel expenses.

Start slower and brake softer

Speeding up and slowing down quickly will burn through your gas much faster than driving smoothly. Accelerate more gently and apply your brakes carefully allowing yourself more time to slow down and you’ll begin getting a higher efficiency level almost immediately.

Drive Slower

Most vehicles are more fuel efficient at 70 MPH than they are at 60. It is in your best interest to drive around posted speed limits or even under them to try and stick to 55 or 60 while going down the highway. By doing this you will save fuel on longer trips and that can add up to noticeable savings.

Avoid idling as much as possible

When your engine is idling it means you’re burning gas without going anywhere. There is no quicker way to kill your fuel efficiency than to allow your engine to idle. If you will be sitting somewhere for more than thirty seconds it is a good idea to shut of the engine until you’re ready to get moving again. You can save a lot of fuel by not letting your vehicle sit and warm up for as long on colder days.

Keep Tires Inflated Properly

Check your tires to see what the recommended inflation amount is. It’s typical for tires to be inflated to 35 PSI but some may call for even higher pressures. Check your tire pressure on a regular basis and make sure that your tires are blown up properly before leaving the driveway.

Tighten Gas Cap to Second Click

Only turning your gas cap to the first click may not be enough to prevent fuel evaporation from occurring. Instead you should turn the cap until it clicks twice. This ensures that you have a good solid seal.

Park in the Shade

Parking in direct sunlight can speed up gas evaporation from your vehicle. By parking in the shade you can slow the process and hold onto your fuel longer. Try to make it a point to park in shady locations whenever you can.

Drive with Windows Up

Believe it or not driving with your windows down can dramatically affect the fuel economy of a vehicle. Rolling down your windows increases the drag of your vehicle as you move down the road, and can cost you up to 10 percent of your total fuel economy. Make it a point to keep your windows up as much as possible and have your vents draw in air from outside if you want some fresh air.

Reduce Weight

The heavier your cargo the more the engine has to work to move the vehicle. Take out unneeded items to save on fuel. This is a simple concept but many people are driving around with items in their trunk that they simply don’t need.

Get Gas Early in the Day

It’s a little known fact that fuel is denser in cool temperatures and since fuel is measured in weight rather than volume that means you are getting more gas in cold temperatures and less when it is very warm out. Fill up early in the day when the suns not up yet and you’ll get more for your money.

Follow these tips and go farther on a tank of gas than you ever thought you could. It’s amazing how much fuel efficiency can improve do to simple driving habits and some careful preparation before leaving the house.