Saving Fuel on Summer Drives
Some of the best vacations start with a cooler of snacks, a full gas tank and the open road. If you’re planning to ride off into the sunset this summer, there are some things you can do to save money and make your fuel budget last longer. Bonus: many of these tips are also better for your car and the environment!
Take it Slow
While your car may be capable of going well over a hundred, it likely hits optimal fuel economy right around 50 MPH. The faster you go over this speed, the less efficient your fuel usage will be. Depending on how much over you go and current gas prices, this could add anywhere from $0.20 to $1.00 per gallon. Both cruise control and refraining from aggressive driving will also help you get more mileage for your money.
Check Your Tire Pressure
Ensuring that your tires are properly filled according to your manufacturer’s’ recommendations can save you money, time and fuel. Not only will having your tires filled correctly increase your fuel economy, it will also make your tires last longer and your overall driving safer. Note: both under and over inflating are problematic so don’t go over the recommended pressure hoping this will save you from having to inflate them more frequently.
When in Doubt, Turn it Off
When waiting in a long drive through line or waiting for someone to make a quick stop in the store it may seem natural to just leave the car running. However, allowing your car to remain on and idling can lose you as much as 19% fuel economy when you do it often.
While the weight from an extra set of clothes and some snacks in your car isn’t going to impact your fuel economy, leaving large amounts of sporting gear and equipment rolling around your trunk could. If you’re in the habit of leaving things like golf clubs and other heavy gear in your car, consider taking it out and only putting it in when you know you’ll be using it.
Downsize when Possible
If you’re renting a car while on vacation and have the option to choose a smaller vehicle, this can save you a big chunk of your fuel budget over the course of your trip. While a smaller car likely won’t work for a long trip when you’re hauling luggage and other items, an economy model is a far better choice for tooling around and sightseeing once you’re at your destination.
Bonus: AC or Windows Down?
The answer to the AC vs. windows fuel economy debate isn’t as straightforward as one might think. While using AC would seem to consume more fuel, the amount of power it pulls from the engine is not that great. Moreover, having the windows down will make your car less aerodynamic, reducing fuel economy. Overall, a recent study from Edmunds.com found that the difference between the two is minimal so you can let your personal preference decide.
Lebanon Chrysler Dodge Jeep Ram dealership wants all our customers to have safe, enjoyable summer drives throughout the season. As cars age, they can sometimes become less fuel-efficient and require more maintenance, making them costlier to operate. If your car isn’t performing as well as it once did, stop in to our showroom and see our full selection of new and pre-owned vehicles.