Summertime means road trips, but the increased fuel costs can bring family vacations to a screeching halt. With gas prices skyrocketing during the summer months, many Americans go to great lengths to save on fuel, but there are many tips you can use (aside from buying a new car) that will help keep the show on the road.
1. Brake Carefully
Your car guzzles the most gas while it is accelerating, The constant speed up and slam down method increases gas consumption considerably, so to avoid this, keep a little more distance between you and the car in front of you so you can coast for as long as possible before braking. If you pay attention to the flow of traffic, you can anticipate when you need to slow down and you can do so gradually to keep speed without using the gas pedal. It has been reported that utilizing this method in heavy traffic can increase your gas mileage by 10-20 percent.
2. Close Your Windows
Anything that increases turbulence or drag will also increase gas consumption. You can save on fuel by closing your windows, removing luggage racks, and eliminating any other extra elements that may create drag to make your vehicle as streamlined as possible.
3. Check Your Tires
Keeping your tires inflated to the recommended level, or slightly over, will reduce the contact area of your tire and reduce friction. This reduced friction will improve your gas mileage. If it is during the summer, remove your chains and snow tires. Snow tires are softer and have a deeper profile, which will increase friction.
4. Go Off the Beaten Path
Avoid any gas stations visible from the Interstate. Location and competition determine gas prices, so stations that are right outside national parks, or immediately off the freeway are never the cheapest price. Take an exit and drive into the city to find much better deals. You can download smartphone apps like GasBuddy or utilize your GPS to find the best prices at gas stations near you. You can also find the information online if you’re planning a long road trip.
5. Reduce Weight
Carrying anything extra in your trunk or toolbox can reduce your gas mileage by 1 or 2 percent, according to the Energy Department. Clean out your car by removing the extra cargo, golf clubs, or tools, they’ll save you money sitting in the garage.
Chances are we will never see gas under two bucks a gallon ever again. So if an electric car is outside of your budget, give these tips a try to get you where you need to go.