Did you know that during the hot summer months, just being outside in the heat, your car can lose gasoline through evaporation? It’s not something you think about a lot. Luckily there are ways that you can conserve gas to offset the loss.
Secure Your Gas Cap. Keep the heat from seeping into your gas tank by always making sure your gas cap is on tight after each fill-up.
Minimize Idling. Think of it this way. Saving gas is about getting as much mileage out of the gas you pay for, right? When you idle, you’re getting nothing for the gas you’ve paid for. If you are not moving for more than a minute you should switch your engine off, assuming you’re not in traffic that could start moving again at any time.
Accelerate and Brake Steadily. Quick acceleration or braking will inevitably gobble up gas more quickly than a measured, steady approach to the gas pedal. Generally, the faster you drive, the worse your gas mileage will be. Ideally you want to drive just below the speed limit to maintain reasonable fuel consumption. We all know that on the highway with the flow of traffic, it is not often possible to do that. You can at least maintain steady speed with cruise control.Less acceleration reduces strain on your vehicle, which equals less gas used.
Keep All Your Car’s Parts Doing Their Part. Just like any interconnected system, if one part isn’t functioning properly other parts are overworked and break down. If your filters aren’t clear, your engine is going to be heavily burdened, and it will show in your miles per gallon. Every make of vehicle has different manufacturer’s recommendation for how often the filters should be replaced. Pay attention to your owner’s manual! In the same way, if your tires are not properly inflated that is going to create a significant drag on your engine.
Keep Your Vehicle Light and Aerodynamic. You don’t want to use your trunk as a storage closet or drive around with a recreational vehicle strapped to the roof. While you’re at it you may want to remove the racks on the roof if you don’t use them. Also, driving over 35 miles per hour with your windows down creates drag, and causes you to burn more fuel.
Minimize Use of Air Conditioning. So there you are, then, on the highway driving over 35 miles per hour, hopefully. You’ve got the windows up. But it’s hot. You’re going to put the air conditioner on. Practice moderation! Using the AC on low is better than having the windows open, at highway speed.
Don’t Fill Up Your Tank Just Off the Highway. This is one of those “that’s how they get ya!” things. If you’re on a long stretch of open road and you finally come to a town somewhere, you’re going to want to go to the nearest gas station or convenience store to use the facilities, perhaps get a snack, and while you’re there you might as well fill up. But such places situated “just off the highway” tend to be the higher priced ones. Whether it is because they know that most people are going to stop there is debatable. But so long as you still have enough fuel in the tank, be picky. Wait it out. Shop around.
Use the Right Motor Oil for Your Vehicle. Speaking of being picky, your vehicle very likely has a type when it comes to motor oil. You can find that information in the manual or the manufacturer’s website. That may sound like a great length to go to, but if you aren’t using the right oil for your vehicle, you may as well be driving 60 miles per hour with the windows open, a canoe strapped to the roof, a set of barbell weights stowed away in your trunk with your tires low on air.
Is Your Way Really the Best Way? Your morning routine is called your morning routine because it is something you just do every day. And this can extend to the route you take to get to work, or wherever you go regularly. But what if you are doing a ton of stop-and-go driving, or chugging up a hill when you really don’t have to, just because you always have, or because it is shorter? Even if it is shorter it may not be the most fuel-efficient way. And because you always have is no reason to continue to do anything. Map it out, see if there are some appealing alternatives.
Happy travels this summer, whether you’re getting away from it all, or just putting on a lot of miles and living life to the fullest in your own neck of the woods.