With gas prices increasing, many people are looking for alternate forms of transportation. But if you have to use your car for transportation, there are lots of ways to improve your gas mileage and help lower travel costs.While you drive:
- Avoid idling. It gets you zero miles per gallon.
- Avoid aggressive driving, such as speeding, rapid acceleration, and hard braking. These can lower your highway gas mileage by up to 33% and your city mileage by 5%.
- Avoid high speeds. Above 60 mph, gas mileage drops rapidly. For every 5 mph above 60 mph, it’s like paying an additional $0.30 per gallon.
- Air conditioning dramatically reduces fuel economy. Most air conditioners have an “economy” setting that allows the circulation of unchilled air. Many also have a “maximum” or “recirculation” setting that reduces the amount of hot outside air that must be chilled. Both settings can reduce the air conditioning load — and save gas.
- Avoid keeping heavy items in your car. An extra 100 pounds could increase your gas costs by up to $.08 cents per gallon.
- Reduce drag by placing items inside the car or trunk rather than on roof racks, which can decrease your fuel economy by 5% or more.
- Plan your route ahead of time so you combine errands and drive as little as possible. Several short trips each taken from a cold start can use twice as much fuel as one trip covering the same distance when the engine is warm.
- Use gas price finders to find the cheapest gas near you.
- Skip the after-market products that promise improved gas mileages. They don’t work, and sometimes they can damage your car.
- Use the grade of motor oil your car’s manufacturer recommends. Using a different motor oil can lower your gas mileage by 1%-2%.
- Inflate your tires to the pressure listed in your owner’s manual or on a sticker in the glove box or driver’s side door jamb. This number may differ from the maximum pressure listed on your tire’s sidewall.
- Get regular maintenance checks to avoid fuel economy problems due to worn spark plugs, dragging brakes, sagging belts, low transmission fluid, or transmission problems.
- Check into telecommuting, carpooling, and public transit to save driving and car maintenance costs. Many urban areas provide carpool lanes that are usually less congested.
All cost estimates assume an average price of $3.96 per gallon. Source: energysavers.gov
Immigrants in the United States are entitled to certain benefits through the Department of Homeland Security’s U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS). If you are here on a temporary or permanent basis, you may be eligible to apply for naturalization, permanent status, or to work in the United States.
The USCIS can help you find the right forms, see an update on your case if you have applied for citizenship, find out how to bring family to the United States and much more. Their online resources are divided by topics to help you easily find what you are looking for depending on your current situation.
You can find contact information for the President and submit questions and comments online at whitehouse.gov/contact.
The Supreme Court finished hearing arguments about the Affordable Care Act yesterday. The Court is considering whether or not Congress can mandate that all citizens purchase health insurance. You can can listen to audio and download transcripts of the arguments from Monday, Tuesday, and Wednesday on the Supreme Court’s website.
The Supreme Court justices will deliberate on the arguments for the next three months and are expected to announce a decision in the case in late June.
The National Archives manages historical government documents and records.
You can find historical photographs, personnel records and more documents from the Civil War online from the National Archives.
Through the National Mortgage Settlement, the country’s five biggest mortgage servicers must commit about $25 billion in relief to individuals and governments because they broke the law in how they managed home loans.
It will take time to figure out which individuals are eligible for help from the settlement. If you are eligible, you should receive a letter in the next 6 to 9 months.
In the meantime, you can learn about the National Mortgage Settlement from its website, including
The settlement will provide assistance for eligible
- Homeowners needing loan modifications
- Borrowers who are current, but underwater and in need of refinancing.
- Borrowers who lost their homes to foreclosure.
You can find free government publications and ebooks on a variety of topics at publications.usa.gov.
Military members and veterans have several different educational benefits available from the Department of Veterans Affairs, and you may qualify for more than one.
You can use the Benefit Comparison Tool to help narrow down which program is best for you.
Once you determine which benefits you qualify for, you can apply for them online.