- Stay in Shape: Routine maintenance of your car of course will keep things running smoothly but more importantly helps improve overall gas mileage. Properly inflated tires, using the correct grade of motor oil and replacing dirty air filters can all help increase fuel efficiency. Neglect in these areas could mean a reduction of gas mileage from one to two on up to 10%, respectively.
- Lose The Weight. Though a challenge when packing up a couple of kids, coolers and other essentials, an extra 100 pounds can reduce your efficiency by two percent. Pack as much as you can in the trunk as items on top of the car create wind resistance which can impact economy.
- Turn It On: Usually we are told to turn things off to improve efficiency but in this case, turn on your cruise control or put your car in the overdrive mode if it is manual. Overdrive reduces your engine speed and cruise control maintains a consistent speed – both which will save you gas. And as for the A/C – crank it up on the highways. Driving with the windows down, creates excess drag, thus greater use of fuel. When driving around the city, however, windows down is better.
- Driving for Dollars. Most fuel is used from accelerating from a stop to cruising speed. Speeding, rapid acceleration and braking does nothing but waste gas and can reduce your gas mileage by almost 33% on the highways. Gas mileage usually decreases rapidly above 60 mph, so for each 5 mph driven over is like paying an extra $.024 per gallon…ouch. Don’t let your car idle. Idling for longer than 30 seconds uses more gas than starting up your engine.
And the most interesting tip from CarMax, is this:
- Fill up your car in the morning: early morning is the best time because the gasoline is cooler and denser. Since gas pumps measure volumes of gas and not densities, you get more fuel for your money.
So which ever route you decide to take, a tune-up in behavior can help fuel efficiency during vacation days as well as every day.