Save Gas On Those Summer Trips

As the college kids start to clear out and High School starts to wind down people are planning their summer trips. Even with gas prices in a reasonable place we are all looking to save where we can, even if just to shrink our carbon footprint. Whatever your motivation, here are some gas saving tips from the pros at the National Institute for Automotive Service Excellence (ASE).

  • Monitor Your Tires. We’ve written before about under inflated tires, and along with poorly aligned wheels they can waste fuel by forcing your car engine to work harder. Keep an eye on them and if you can inflate them for free at any local Sheetz. If your tires show uneven wear, they should probably be aligned by a professional.
  • Remove Excess Weight. Remove unnecessary items from the vehicle. Only store essential items in your trunk like the spare tire, jumper cables, etc. Less weight equals better mileage for your car.
  • Cut Down The Errands and Trips. Some trips may be unnecessary and you may be able to consolidate a few of them.  For example, stop by the grocery store after dropping off the kids while you are already out. Stop by Starbucks on your way to Lowes. Try and knock two birds out with one stone when you can.
  • Minimize Stop and Go Conditions. Sitting on Wards Road during lunchtime is not the best for your car or the gas.  When possible travel when traffic is light so you can avoid stop-and-go-conditions.  Also shut off the engine while waiting for friends and family.
  • Observe Speed Limits. Speeding decreases your miles per gallon, increases your chances of being pulled over, and increases your chances of getting involved in an accident. This is a no-brainer.
  • Know When To Use Windows and Air Conditioning. Keeping your windows open instead of your air conditioner doesn’t always save you gas believe it or not. Your mileage will actually improve if you keep the windows closed at highway speeds, since air drag is reduced. This is true even with the air conditioning on-assuming that the system is in good working order. But go ahead and turn the air conditioning off in stop-and-go traffic to save fuel.
  • Keep Your Engine “Tuned Up.” A well-maintained vehicle engine operates more efficiently and maximizes gas mileage and durability.  Follow the recommended service schedules listed in your car owner’s manual. Replace filters and fluids as recommended.

These tips will not only help you save gas and money, but they will help keep you safe and even extend the life of your car!