The Fuel Stretching Maneuver
- how to drive more miles for free

With the price of fuel these days, it makes sense to get the most out of every tank.

One way to squeeze out extra miles is to take full advantage of forward momentum. By minimizing your braking, and coasting to stop signs and traffic lights, you'll use less fuel.

You'll also save wear and tear on your brakes.

The coasting tactic works especially well when you're approaching a red light and it's clear that you'll have to stop. Let up on the gas pedal, and coast until you have to brake.

If there are cars right behind you, then you'll have to use discretion, even when you're approaching a red light. Some drivers may be annoyed with you slowing down so early. But if no one is behind you, that's the perfect time to coast.

Essentially, anytime you use the brakes, you're throwing away forward momentum that you already paid for.

Of course, you shouldn't drive reckless, or coast in the middle of traffic. But there are plenty of opportunities when there are no other cars near you to coast.

It's possible to get an extra mile out of every gallon with the coasting maneuver, which is about equal to an extra gallon. One tank per week would mean 52 free gallons per year, or about $180 of fuel.

So next time you see that red light, instead of getting mad, coast your way to savings.