Summer is the perfect time for taking extended road trips or even just enjoying an afternoon drive to the country, but being on the road in hot weather can also mean spending a lot on gas.
Here are a few tips to help you save up on fuel costs.
1. Go light
If you still haven’t cleaned out those heavy boxes full of paint or gym gear from your car seats or trunk, do it now. The heavier the load you carry, the lower your gas mileage. Also, if you’re planning on traveling, pack smart and don’t take unnecessary cargo you don’t need. Remember to remove the rooftop cargo carrier, bike rack, ski racks or the like when you’re done using them for the season.
2. Drive responsibly
According to fueleconomy.gov, constant speeding and braking can reduce your gas mileage by a staggering “33% on highways and 5% around town.” Aggressive driving can also put you and your passengers at risk.
3. Ease on the speed
The faster you drive, the more fuel you burn. Based on Fuelecodnomy.gov, “each 5 mph you drive over 50 mph is like paying an additional $0.26 per gallon for gas.” Stick to the required speed limits for safety and better mileage. Another way to save on gas is maintaining a constant speed on the highway. Setting your drive to cruise control can cut down on your MPG (miles per gallon).
4. Keep your car in shape
Maximizing your car performance will increase your mileage and fuel efficiency. Do regular tune-ups, filter changes, alignments and other required maintenance recommended in your vehicle owner’s manual for better gas mileage and to avoid future damages to your car.
5. Turn on the AC
Contrary to popular belief, turning on the air conditioner and closing up the windows in hot weather helps increase your MPG. Driving with your sunroof and four windows down will reduce the aerodynamic qualities of your car. The result of the increased wind resistance is low gas efficiency and decreased car mileage.
6. Pump up the tires
Check your tires and keep them aligned and pumped up to the recommended air pressure levels. Low air levels on your tires make for unsafe driving and can bring your gas mileage down.
7. Fuel up early in the morning or late in the evening
According to kiplinger.com, the best time to buy gas is either early in the morning or late in the evening. Gas stations often raise their prices during the day to take advantage of the rush hour traffic. You might also realize the possible benefit of fueling in cooler weather which could contribute to fuel density.
8. Avoid rush hour
Driving in heavy traffic and getting stuck in a constant stop and go situation is not only a pain in the head but also a jab to your wallet. Try commuting before or after rush hour to avoid gas waste and unwanted stress.
9. Don’t let your engine idle
Unless you really have to, avoid parking your car or waiting on someone while the engine is still running. Letting the engine idle for over 30 seconds will increase your fuel consumption and reduce your MPG.
Take turns to drive your friends, kids or coworkers to their destination. Carpooling is a great way to save on gas and can also be a fun experience for all!