It’s summer, the kids are out of school and busy with activities. So how can you save money on gas while you are running from point A to point B all day long? The first thing you can do is plan your day in advance and combine errands when possible. Several short trips taken from a cold start can use twice as much fuel as a longer, multipurpose trip covering the same distance. Trip planning can reduce the amount of time you drive with a cold engine. It can also reduce the distance you travel. Planning errands when traffic is light, also helps. You can avoid the “stop and go” of busy traffic.
It’s important to learn to drive more efficient. Believe it or not, how you drive can save you gas. If you are an aggressive driver, your fuel savings will be less. Aggressive driving (speeding, rapid acceleration, and braking) wastes gas. It can lower your gas mileage by roughly 15% to 30% at highway speeds and 10% to 40% in stop-and-go traffic. Driving efficient also means that you need to obey the speed limit. While each vehicle reaches its optimal fuel economy at a different speed (or range of speeds), gas mileage usually decreases rapidly at speeds above 50 mph. You can assume that each 5 mph you drive over 50 mph is like paying an additional $0.17 per gallon for gas.
A big factor for gas savings, make sure you maintain your vehicle. A well-maintained engine operates at peak efficiency, maximizing gas mileage. Follow the service schedules listed in the owner’s manual. Replace filters and fluids as recommended; have engine performance problems (rough idling, poor acceleration, etc.) corrected at a repair facility. Given today’s high-tech engines, it’s wise to have this type of work done by auto technicians who are ASE certified in engine performance. Fixing a car that is noticeably out of tune or has failed an emissions test can improve its gas mileage by an average of 4%.
A few other tips for saving gas, remove unnecessary items from the vehicle. Store only essentials in the trunk, less weight means better mileage. That goes for putting heavy items on the roof of the car during road trips. Plan ahead, enjoy the road and happy travels this summer.