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Making Your Money Last

3 Simple Steps to Get More Miles to the Gallon

Make these changes to your car to get better gas mileage.

Ease your pain at the pump by making changes that will let you fill your tank less often. Your driving habits play a part in fuel economy: High speed and abrupt stops and starts all burn more gas. But you can also make changes to your car to eke out more miles per gallon.

Step 1 Get the junk out of your trunk. Keep the spare tire, jack and emergency kit, but lose the other stuff. For every 100 pounds of detritus you tote around, you sacrifice 2% in fuel efficiency.

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Step 2 Remove your roof rack when you’re not using it (a fully loaded rack causes a 5% decrease in fuel economy). Even when the rack has nothing on it, the additional drag also drags down your mpg.

Step 3 Take a trip to the gas station and inflate your tires to the maximum pressure recommended by the manufacturer. Doing so can improve your fuel economy by as much as 10%, and the only trade-offs are a slightly rougher ride and a bit more noise.

The payoff You shell out less money for gas.

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