How to Make an SUV More Fuel Efficient

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When gas prices are rising, you may question your purchase of an SUV instead of an economy car. Due to low trade-in values, however, you may be stuck with your SUV for a few years. What's more, you may actually love your SUV. If that's the case, maximize your fuel efficiency with a few easy techniques.

  • Set your cruise control at a slower speed. A study conducted by the Congressional Business Office indicated that if a car reduces its speed from 70 mph to 65 mph, it could cut fuel expenses by 8.2 percent or approximately 9 cents every 10 miles. If you travel a lot, this could be a substantial savings.

  • Accelerate smoothly. Unless you absolutely must gun your SUV to get into the merge lane, bide your time and wait for a relaxed opening. Quick accelerations are major fuel burners so exercise patience and save some money.

  • Warm up a fuel-injected SUV for no more than 1 minute unless outdoor temperatures are frigid. Manufacturers claim that 1 minute is sufficient for a fuel-injected engine to warm up by idling.

  • Turn off your SUV's engine while waiting for a family member to come out of the store or out of school. In addition, consider turning off your engine for a few minutes if you know you'll be stuck in traffic for a while. The exception to this is a traffic jam that has you moving a few feet at a time.

  • Roll up your SUV's windows while driving at highway speeds. The aerodynamic drag created by open windows, forces your SUV's engine to strain harder to maintain speed. As a result, you burn more fuel.

  • Inflate your tires fully. Low tires create a road drag that slows your SUV down.

Tips & Warnings

  • Observe routine maintenance schedules to keep your SUV greased and running at top performance. Ask the mechanic to change the air filter when he changes your oil.

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