With gas over $4 a gallon, summer road trips can get expensive. Here’s a few tips from Autoguide and smart to help your MPGs this summer:
1. Don’t go overboard, just bring what you need: It’s easy to go overboard and try to bring everything you think you may need, but try to cut that list down to the essentials. Remember: an extra 100 pounds in a vehicle can reduce gasoline mileage by up to 2 percent.
2. Check tires inflation: If your tires are properly inflated, this can improve gasoline mileage by up to 3.3 percent.
3. Beat the traffic: Try to avoid leaving for that camping trip on Friday at 5 p.m. Speeding, acceleration and braking can lower gasoline mileage by 33 percent at highway speeds and 5 percent around town.
4. Use the recommended grade of oil: Your car comes with a manufacturer’s motor oil recommendation – this can improve gasoline mileage by 1 to 2 percent. Tip: look for “Energy Conserving” on the API performance symbol (it contains friction-reducing additives).
5. Fill up with a high quality gasoline: High quality gas improves engine performance while driving. To help recognize what makes a certain gas high quality, look for fuel that is designated with the TOP TIER Detergent Gasoline Standard. This will help you avoid problems that can be associated with using lower-quality gasoline.
6. Warm ups are not necessary. This just wastes fuel. Thanks to advanced technology, concerns over affecting engine durability and cold running performance are a thing of the past.
7. Keep your foot pressed firmly on the brake pedal when stopped. This prevents the clutch from engaging when you have no intention of moving.
8. Slow down. For every ten miles per hour you increase your speed, you lose as much as 15% in fuel economy. So take the safer route, go a little slower, save some fuel, and get there in just about the same amount of time.
9. Don't idle, just turn the car off. If you're waiting to pick someone up, for example, there's no need to leave the car idling. All you're doing is sitting there getting zero miles per gallon.