Keep Costs Down as Gas Prices Go Up

Some gas prices in Chicago have topped the $4 mark.
Besides investing in an electric vehicle, what can Chicago residents do to save money at the pump?
I recently ran some errands with a friend who insisted that leaving the car running while in park for less than five minutes saved more gas than turning it off and turning it back on in that short time frame. I disagreed.
Gas sign that says ARM, LEG and First Born for prices.So who’s right?
According to the Environmental Defense Fund, idling a vehicle for more than 10 seconds wastes more gas than stopping and restarting the engine.
In addition, idling a car for 10 minutes uses as much gas as traveling five miles and releases as much as a pound of carbon dioxide emissions into the air.
Commonwealth Edison offers these tips to Chicago motorists to avoid vehicle idling:
*Ease into drive: Vehicles do not need idling to warm up. The best way to get an engine going is to let it sit for 30 seconds, then ease into drive and avoid excessive engine revving. It’s the best way to get the car’s heating system to deliver warmer air faster, or cooler air during warmer months.
*Turn it off: Turn off your engine if you are sitting for more than 10 seconds. Restarting a vehicle does not burn more fuel than leaving it idling. Turning it off at the bank, in a fast-food drive-through line or at a long red light will save you money.
*Help the environment: Idling vehicles emit pollutants that create smog and soot, which have been linked to serious illnesses including asthma, heart disease, chronic bronchitis and cancer. Avoid idling to keep the air cleaner and to save money and gas.
“Vehicle idling wastes fuel, and excessive idling can actually damage an engine’s components,” said George Malek, ComEd Energy Doctor. “Don’t rev the engine; let your car sit for just 30 seconds and then ease into driving. This also is the best way to get your vehicle’s heating system to deliver warmer air faster.”
On average, gas prices have gone up about 24 cents in Chicago over the past week. A lot of that is due to the situation in the Middle East, especially in Libya.
There is no break seen in the near future, in fact, gas prices are expected to rise again on Thursday. So go fill up today, and remember not to idle tomorrow.