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How to Save Gas When You Drive in L.A.

10:58 AM PDT on May 16, 2012

Living the taco lifestyle in Los Angeles means that driving is most likely inevitable. While there are many walkable, bike-friendly, and transit-rich parts of the city, and while many taco lovers like to stay in one part of town, if you want to explore the whole thing you will almost surely need to use a car. We take our inspiration from Helen and John Taylor (pictured above), the world fuel efficiency record holders who can get 85MPG out of a car rated for 35. These tips, adapted from their website Fuel Academy, are designed to help you save gas, which is good for your wallet, our city, and the planet.

1. Don't drive a stupid car. Seriously, if you need to impress people with your car there's something wrong with you. On the other hand, if your car is a true piece of shit you are forcing the rest of us to breathe your smog and wasting fuel in the process. Yes, dope rides are cool (I have a custom trans am with a built-in bong) but if they get less than 25 MPG they should be used sparingly.

2. Drive Smoothly. Aggressive driving with lots of stops and starts can use up to 33% more fuel. On the freeway especially, the key is to regulate your speed and make all lane changes like a hot knife through butter. Put on the right music and remember it's all about style, grace, and smooth jazz.

3. Tire Pressure. Having your tires under inflated by just one psi can suck up as much as 3% more fuel. It's really not that hard to pull into your neighborhood service station and get your tires checked.

4. Remove the Roof Rack. If you don't use your roof rack, get rid of it. The drag can burn up to 5% more fuel then a whip with a smooth dome.

5. Plan your trip. A lot of people in LA just jump in their cars without thinking about everything they need to get done and then over drive. Google Maps is your friend-- study your route and plot the best way to minimize your time on the road and avoid stop-and-go traffic.

6. Speed Kills Gas. Yeah it's fun to speed on the freeway but 5 MPH over the speed limit will burn as much as 23% more fuel. And truthfully unless you're going 100, you're not going to save any measurable time anyway.

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