Many people love to travel during the summer. While a plane can get you to your destination quicker, nothing beats the excitement of a road trip. However, the cost of filling up the tank is often a big concern. Boost your car’s fuel economy with a few gas-saving tips to keep in mind.
Drive Less Aggressively
When you hit the highway this summer, don’t be in such a rush. You don’t want to miss any cool sights along the way. Driving in the slow lane can also save you a lot of extra money at the pump. Speed increases wind resistance, which naturally causes your vehicle to consume more fuel.
To increase gas mileage, limit your maximum speed to 65 mph. Research shows that this can increase fuel efficiency by up to 15 percent. It’s also important to avoid aggressive acceleration.
Adjust Tire Pressure
Tire pressure can have a direct impact on your vehicle’s fuel consumption. Driving on underinflated tires can lower your gas mileage by five percent. This is why it’s advisable to check your air pressure before taking a road trip.
You should also inspect the amount of tread left on your tires. If your tires look worn, don’t wait to buy a new set. Worn-out tires don’t transfer power to the ground as effectively, which results in a loss of fuel economy.
Never take a road trip without first getting your vehicle fully serviced by a mechanic. A fresh oil change will certainly help the engine to run smoothly. It’s just as important to check the condition of your air filter.
Do you remember the last time your vehicle received a tune-up? If not, now is a good time to get one. Over time, your spark plugs gradually start to wear down. This means the engine will have trouble maintaining the proper air-fuel ratio. Efficiency will ultimately take a hit.
Only Use Your A/C When Necessary
During the summer, outdoor temperatures can easily soar past 90 degrees. To stay cool, you may opt to turn on your vehicle’s air conditioner. Unfortunately, running the A/C can reduce fuel economy by up to 25 percent. This is especially true when traveling in mountainous areas.
If you’re concerned about the summer heat, opt to hit the road in the early morning. This will decrease the amount of time you need to use your air conditioner.
Avoid Getting Stuck in Traffic
Unnecessary idling can waste a lot of fuel. When planning your route, try to avoid driving through areas that are prone to experiencing traffic congestion. Taking roads less traveled can help you to conserve fuel.
There are smartphone apps available that will help you to avoid sitting in traffic. Using real-time traffic data, Google Maps can highlight heavy congestion ahead of time. You can then ask the app to find you a better route to take.
Lighten Your Load By Packing Lightly
To further enhance your vehicle’s fuel savings, lighten your load. Going easy on the luggage has its benefits. Extra travel gear adds more weight, thus forcing the engine to work harder than normal.
You should also consider ditching your vehicle’s bike rack. It adds unnecessary heft and increases wind drag. You can usually rent a bike upon reaching your destination.
Effectively Use Cruise Control
Cruise control is a great asset. By keeping your engine at a constant rpm, it helps maximize your vehicle’s fuel economy. Modern adaptive cruise systems can even adjust your speed when approaching traffic.
Remember, you should only use this feature on flat stretches of the freeway. Turn off cruise control on hills.