Now that spring has arrived and the weather is heating up, it’s time to start planning road trips, family vacations, and hiking trips. Oregon has some of the most beautiful landscaping for traveling and the spring and summer seasons are glorious. Packing up the car and getting out of town is something that we all do at least once a year and this is the best time for it!
Of course, we’re always thoughtful of cost and budget for these out of town trips and the cost of getting there and back is a big part of it. Although gas prices have dropped significantly this year, it is still a real concern. Here are some tips for improving the gas mileage of your car:
Drive the speed limit. This is probably the biggest factor. While you might have to be a little bit “late” to your destination, driving the speed limit will save you money. Studies have shown that driving at 75 mph will cost you 5 mpg as compared to driving at 65 mph. This is caused by an increase in the drag of the car, which increases the faster you drive. The more drag on the car – the more fuel is used to power it.
Smooth out your driving. Hard braking and acceleration will reduce your gas mileage by up to three gallons. Not to mention the negative impact this wear and tear has on your transmission, engine, tires and brakes.
Lessen the drag. When you are driving on the highway 50% of your engine’s power goes to making up the difference for drag. Packing things on top of your car increases the drag and requires your engine to work that much harder. Your fuel economy could be dropped by as much as 35% just from having bicycles on your roof rack.
When it calls for regular – use regular. It is a common belief that putting premium fuel into your car, even if it specifies regular, will improve performance. This is a myth and not true. Your car will run perfectly well with regular gasoline, so save yourself the extra money per gallon and skip the premium.
Let your engine warm up. When your engine is warm is when it will run most efficiently. Before you leave for your next destination, give your car several minutes to warm up.
Road tripping during the spring and summer is a great way to spend time with friends and loved ones. Don’t let your anxiety about budget and cost overwhelm the fun you’re having. Follow these tips for improving gas mileage and drive safely!