With summer right around the corner, road trips are on the agenda for many travelers wishing to experience California. We all know the cost of gas has skyrocketed, so it’s more important than ever to keep your car in top running condition to maximize your fuel mileage. Here are some tips to help steer you in the right direction.
Junk in the Trunk: Does the inside of your trunk look like a rental storage unit? Lose the junk. An extra 100 pounds in your vehicle could reduce your mileage by up to 2 percent, guzzling up to an extra 20 gallons of fuel a year.
Oh, The Pressure: Keeping your tires properly inflated can improve your gas mileage by about 3 percent. Check your car’s owner manual or label attached on the driver’s side door for recommended pressure – don’t go by what’s printed on the tire itself.
Lead Foot: What’s your hurry? Slow down and you’ll conserve fuel. Each 5 mph you drive over 60 mph is like paying an additional $0.24 per gallon for gas. Fuel efficiency also drops – as much as 33 percent on highways and 5 percent in town - when you drive aggressively by speeding, accelerating rapidly and braking hard. Also, stay in one lane unless passing; weaving uses up more fuel.
Tune In, Tune Up: Keep your engine tuned. A well-maintained car can improve gas mileage by an average of 4 percent. On the flip side, fuel consumption can increase by as much as 10 to 20 percent on a poorly maintained vehicle.
It’s A Drag: Trinkets hanging from the antenna and equipment bolted to the car rooftop creates drag, which can affect your vehicle’s fuel consumption. Opened windows can reduce your gas mileage by as much as 10 percent. And when was the last time you washed your car? A clean car is more aerodynamic than a dirty one.
Idle Time: Avoid excessive idling. If your car will be idling for more than a minute, turn the engine off to avoid wasting gas.
APP-solutely: Make use of one of the many smart phone apps to track road conditions – you can find alternate routes to avoid congestion rather than waste fuel sitting in traffic. There are apps to help you find cheap gas and others to map out driving directions. Some apps worth mentioning are TripTik, Google Maps Navigation, Road Trip and GasBuddy.
An Ounce of Prevention: Keep your car in top-running condition to improve your gas mileage and ensure a safe trip. Have your vehicle inspected before you take your road trip. Preventative maintenance is less expensive than costly repairs caused by a break down on the road.