Shed Pounds to Save on Gas

Every pound that your car has to haul around costs you gas to do it. The friction or resistance that your car has to work against generally goes up proportionally to the weight of the car. You can see a similar principle at work down at the drag strip. Drag racers cut away extra weight so they can get better acceleration for a given horsepower. In our case, we want to get better mileage per gallon for a given engine, but the basic idea is the same. For low speed driving, the amount you can improve your gas mileage depends on the weight you shed relative to the weight of your car. If you have a 1000 pound car and shed 50 pounds, that is 5% of the car's weight. In this example you would get up to a 5% increase in mileage.

You can't put your car on a diet, so how to shed those extra pounds? You could replace your rims with light aluminum ones. Replace steel body panels or the hood with a modern, lighter composite material. Throw out all of the junk in the trunk. Don't carry around bags of salt in the summer. If you have a huge toolbox that you never use, consider leaving it at home. This is maybe going over the top, but the fanatics out there could even leave behind the spare tire.

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