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Low tire pressure, using A/C, keeping windows open (wind drag), high profile vehicle (wind drag again), poorly serviced engine...there are probably more.

AnswerPoor mileage is attributed to a number of factors including things you can and cannot change. First the way an engine is built, it may just naturally consume lots of fuel to power it. We all know the dilemma of choosing a large truck or sports car VS an economical daily driver and that is a lot of just first time choice and preference you may have to compromise.

Other than that weight plays a factor that many do not consider. Many people now take out spare tires in favor of a tire repair kit like "Slime" or some tire hole repair kit to save gas. Seats that are not used in cars should be taken out, there is no point to having your engine pull more weight than it needs to and the gas consumption will go down. If you ever wonder if this really works, watch nascar. They drive around in a shell of a car, why?, because you get about 1/10 of a second on a QTR mile time for every 100 lbs you reduce from a stock or OEM car.

Tire pressure, I cannot stress enough the correct tire pressure to save gas. The lower the pressure from normal the more it takes to rotate the tire causing more gas to be used. Along with wheel alignment and equally rotated tires these can all help save you some.

Some tips besides the main categories above include using crusie control on the highways to give a constant even flow to the engine instead of up and down pedaling. It helps save the engine, gears (transmission parts wear), and gas.

Combine errands in one orchestrated trip, don't waste gas going to 14 places if it is all in one store. One thing I never get is people driving around for a good price on cigarettes, you waste the cost driving and time and wear on your car everytime you refuse to pay 50 cents more, a mute point.

Don't rev the engine, as fun as it is, it uses gas obviously

Try not to use air condtioning if at all possible, it uses gas

Tune ups and matinence keep the engine running at normal, neglect forces the engine to work harder and use more fuel to get the same work done.

Fill tank during cool hours, stops evaporation

drive throughs, bank teller windows, prescription drive thrus Skip them if it is going to take more than 2-3 minutes. After that shutting the car off would have been smarter and saved you more.

Last DON'T DRIVE, but since we all hate the bus and we can't all jog to work and some of us like to *cough* race *cough* ;) long live the list of ways to cut down. Need more help or are interested in follow up elitearmageddon@hotmail.com

Answeran article I saved:

14 ways to stretch your gas dollar:

Gasoline prices have again begun to rise sharply -- in some places as much as 11 cents in a week -- as refinery shutdowns, reduced imports and even the big blackout further squeeze supplies during the year's busiest driving season. In parts of the West, pump prices have topped $2.

While $2-a-gallon gasoline might seem to be a national emergency (especially if you just bought a big, yellow Hummer), it really only means an extra $10 on a 20-gallon fill-up. Sure, it's money. Sure, it adds up. But don't let your first $40 fill-up shock you into a move you might regret.

If you're contemplating a trip to the dealership for a car half the size of your current one, think again. When the price of gasoline rises from $1.50 to $2, the annual bill for a 15-mpg car driven 15,000 miles rises by $500 -- even if you don't change your driving habits one bit. It would take years of $500 annual savings to make up for the bath you're likely to take trading in a gas guzzler now.

But if you're in the market already, downsizing a ton or two wouldn't hurt. Do the math. Say your long commute means you drive 25,000 miles a year, costing you $3,330 a year for a 15-mpg car. Buy a fuel miser that gets twice the mileage and you'd save $1,600 a year. If that's a lot of money in your world -- as it is for most of us -- a 3-year-old small car might well be worth its $5,000-$13,000 price. (You'll find MSN Autos' list of the best small used cars under "Related Sites" at left.) On the other hand, laying out the extra cash for a $20,000 gasoline-electric hybrid is almost never worth the money (See "Hybrid cars: Do they make sense for you?").

Here's how to save with the ride you already own:

Find the best deal. The My Car service surveys 20,000 gas stations across the country nightly and finds the least expensive gasoline in your zip code. Signup takes only a minute. You might also try GasBuddy.com (link at left under "Related Sites"), where a network of spotters enters information on cheap gas.

If you're on the wrong side of the tracks, buy gas. The price of regular in the Seattle area recently, for example, ranged from $1.58 in a modest suburb to $1.99 in an upscale Eastside neighborhood. Going a little out of your way to save 40 cents a gallon makes sense. Crossing town probably doesn't. But if you're in the neighborhood, fill up. Just outside city limits and just over the county line are two likely places to find cheaper fuel, with stations taking advantage of the difference in taxes.

Check traffic before you leave. Idling in traffic means you're getting 0 mpg. Most bigger cities have a real-time traffic Web site. The My Car service you signed up for above also offers real-time traffic information. Your state's Department of Transportation site probably has its own traffic page; many radio, television and newspaper sites do, also.

Consider a credit card with gasoline rewards. The best deal when we last checked was the Shell/Citibank MasterCard, which offers a 5% rebate on gas purchases and carries a 14.24% variable interest rate.

If there aren't many Shell stations in your neighborhood, here are other recent offerings, courtesy of Bankrate.com: � BP-Amoco/Bank One Visa: 3% rebate on gas; 10.40% variable APR� Exxon/Mobil Citibank MasterCard: 3% rebate on gas; 16.74% variable APR� Citgo/Citibank Visa: 1% rebate on purchases; 16.49% variable APR� Gulf Oil/Fleet Visa: 3% rebate on gas; 18.99% variable APR� BP Oil Platinum Visa: 6% rebate on gas for first two billing cycles; 1% thereafter; variable APR starting at 12.15%Bear in mind that even a 5% rebate is less than the interest charges on any of these cards, so watch that balance. And you earn rewards only on the brand of gasoline that's on your card, so locate convenient stations before you apply.

Buy big-box gasoline. Warehouse giants such as Costco and Wal-Mart sell discounted fuel to their members, sometimes as much as a dime a gallon cheaper. Make sure you'll use the membership for other things, as the fees (which run $35 to $100) could easily make any savings moot.

Take advantage of discounts. Conversely, many independent stations offer a cheaper price for cash transactions because there's no cut to pay the credit-card companies. RV owners might join a frequent-fueler program that discounts gasoline or diesel by a penny or two (which adds up if your motor home gets 6 mpg).

Keep your car in shape. An out-of-tune engine, poor alignment or underinflated tires (check the recommended pressures inside the door or in the owner's manual) can cost you up to 2 mpg, the American Petroleum Institute says. Change oil and filters according to the manufacturer's service schedule.

You may have a flexible-fuel car and not even know it. Each year, Ford, GM and DaimlerChrysler sell several hundred thousand vehicles with the ability to run either on gasoline or a gasoline-ethanol blend known as E85 (mainly because they win clean-air points for doing so). Some have "FFV" badges on them; others are invisible unless you check the owner's manual. But keep an eye on E85 prices, especially if you live where it's widely available. (See link at left under "Related Sites.") At some point, corn could become cheaper than crude.

Don't fall for miracles. Special oils, additives, magnets? A waste of money, says the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), which evaluates them. Most produced no result at all; improvements for others were marginal.

Remove the junk. If you're not skiing, you don't need the drag of a rack on top (though it does look mighty sporty). Take a pass through your trunk, glove compartment and back seat; 100 pounds of junk equals one less mile per gallon.

Slow down. Each 5 mph over 60, the EPA says, is like adding a dime to the cost of a gallon of gas. Avoid quick starts or a lot of passing. Slow and steady wins the race.

Skip the luxuries. Unless you live in New Jersey or Oregon, where self-service is prohibited, pumping it yourself is as much as 25 cents cheaper. And if you're feeding your wheels premium gas, check the owner's manual. If your car doesn't require premium, you're wasting as much as 20 cents a gallon.advertisement

Share a ride. An easy way to double your gas mileage is to carpool with someone willing to do half the driving. Or ride the bus. Every day that you don't drive alone saves you money.

Try pedal power. Every trip on two wheels is money in the bank and good exercise, too.

The sudden run-up in gasoline prices may be a good thing in a perverse way, landing conservation on our radar screens in a way that never would have happened if prices had crept up gradually. Now the key to coping is to make little changes that become habit -- and to keep doing them once pump prices are out of the headlines. And, perhaps, to look a little more closely at the EPA numbers the next time you go car shopping.

AnswerIncomplete combustion due to ignition problems, poor compression, worn or broken EGR valve, sticking injectors, old O2 sensor, dirty air filter, and just about anything else that affects how well the engine would run.

Start with a code scanner to find out if there are any stored fault codes.

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