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Speeding Through Santa Clarita

DiamondLanePicBy John Jones
Special to KHTS
I’m a real estate appraiser, so I’m on the road a lot.   I drive on freeways and surface streets in the Santa Clarita Valley, the San Fernando Valley and the Antelope Valley.
With gas around $4.00/gallon, I try to pay attention to things that will get me better gas mileage, but $4.00/gallon doesn’t seem to affect many drivers.
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I haven’t noticed anyone slowing down on the freeways.  I drive a small car, and I have to watch out for full size trucks and large SUVs that know only one speed: fast.  Going as fast as you can from point A to point B may get you there quicker, but it doesn’t save gas.  My suggestion: slow down.
Large cars and trucks love gas stations, and gas station owners love them.  You may need a large size vehicle to haul people or stuff, but if it’s just you (or a couple of people) think about a smaller car for your next purchase.  Mine gets 30mpg.
Compare that to a vehicle that gets 20mpg, and the difference will save you $1,000/year.  Compared to a vehicle that gets 15mpg, and that difference will save you $1,500/year.  Just make sure that the small car you choose uses regular gas.
Here are some other driving tips that I’ve learned along the way:
  • Avoid jackrabbit starts and abrupt stops on surface streets
  • Don’t carry extra stuff in your trunk – less weight, better mileage
  • Roof racks or rooftop carriers will reduce your gas mileage
  • Make sure your engine is properly tuned, tires are properly inflated, filters aren’t
  • dirty, and that you’re using the recommended oil for your vehicle
  • Plan your errands so you’re not making a lot of little trips
  • Most of all, don’t run over the little guy on the road