Fuel efficiency

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Updated: 3/28/2003 1:53 pm
When fuel prices increase, fuel efficiency can become an important factor in determining which car you wish to buy. By law, every new car must carry a window sticker that has gas mileage estimates from the Environmental Protection Agency. The label explains projected fuel economy for both city and highway driving, annual fuel costs based on driving 15,000 (fifteen thousand) miles a year and paying $1.20 (a dollar twenty) per gallon for regular or $1.40 (a dollar forty) per gallon for premium, and average fuel economy for similar cars. The EPA ratings are only estimates to help you compare models; the exact gas mileage you get will depend on your driving habits and upkeep. For most vehicles, regular unleaded gas is all that's needed, unless the manufacturer specifically requires premium. Find out before you buy whether mid-grade or premium, high-octane gasoline is necessary. Buying premium can add several dollars to the price of each fill-up. Using self-serve, regular fuel compared to premium can save money. In vehicles that aren't specifically made for it, premium doesn't increase performance, so don't purchase mid-grade or premium gasoline unless it's recommended by your vehicle's manufacturer or you need it to prevent knocking in an older vehicle.

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