Focus on Fuel: Simple $-Saving Tips

For so many of us, driving less isn't an option. But we do have options when it comes to controlling how quickly we burn the gas in our car. A change here and there could add up to big savings.

Dishing out 150 to 200 dollars for a complete tune-up might not be worth it for most drivers. The U.S. Department Of Energy says a tune-up can improve your gas mileage by an average of four percent, saving you up to 11 cents a gallon. But that's only if you car is in bad shape to begin with.

And what about the air in your tires? Experts say tires that have low pressure cause the engine to work harder to keep a car's speed. But some tests have shown varying the pressure has very small impact on mileage.

How about cruise control? It's convenient if you have it, but is it cost effective? Tests prove it actually does help. A recent experiment by shows it can improve mileage up to 14 percent.

And speed is also costly. Driving at 65 miles per hour rather than 55 increases fuel consumption by 20 percent. Driving at 75 miles per hour, rather than 65 increases fuel consumption by another 25 percent.

Something else that may spark your interest is locking in prices at the pump. It's a Web-based fuel bank we came across today. You sign up and after buying your first tank of gas. It locks in that price, from then on you pay that rate even when prices rise, and the company pays the difference back to you. You can find out more at