The cool breeze coming through a warm day, the relaxing music, the soothing taste of cold drinks and the shared stories and laughter with our family and friends –these are only some of the few things we gladly enjoy on road trips. Road trips are fun and exciting vacations we love to share with those people that matter to us most. We go on road trips on long weekends, on a boring Sunday, on a planned cross-state adventure or maybe on a spontaneous highway cruise. The fun and excitement you get out of road trips with family and friends can never be measured.
But, oh no! Just wait. There is one thing that might destroy the entire mood; that is the stomach-wrenching fuel cost. Whether you drive a small sedan or a monstrous SUB, the price of fuel is still crippling. This is a major issue before we hit the road, and can put a lot of road trips on hold.
Unless you’re looking to buy a new car, in which you could save a lot of money by getting a more fuel-efficient model, there are a couple of tips and driving techniques you can use to tremendously reduce your gasoline expenses. The first thing to consider in saving your gas budget is improving car’s fuel economy. All together, these helpful tips can help you improve your car’s endurance on miles per gallon or MPG and wipe out those unnecessary fuel expenses. Here are five useful tips you can surely use:
1. Change your driving habits by driving slowly
Try to drive the speed limit! The most effective solution in increasing your car’s fuel economy is by driving slower. Once you increase your speed, the fuel economy of your car decreases tremendously. Thus, it is safe to say that speed is indirectly proportional to fuel economy. Try lowering your speed on the freeway for a few days and you will see the difference. Also, getting a speeding ticket will certainly add to your road trip costs!
2. Keep your tire inflated
Make sure that your tire pressure is perfect. If your tire is under-inflated, that can cause a crummy MPG number. Be sure to keep a tire gauge handy and check the tire pressure once in a while.
3. Check your air filter
A dirty air filter can stop air from flowing into the engine, thus consuming more gasoline and affecting fuel efficiency. Check your air filter and be sure to keep it clean.
4. Keep your car light
Take out any unnecessary weight in your car, like golf clubs, unnecessary luggage, extra shoes or an unused the cooler. Keep in mind the formula for force: mass times acceleration. This means that the more your car weighs, the more your car will have to work! You might want to keep your car tools and spare tire though. Good fuel efficiency won’t help you change a flat tire.
5. Turn off the air-conditioner
The compressor of your car’s air conditioner loads the motor. This in turn will reduce fuel efficiency. Although it may be a bit impractical to turn it off on a hot summer day, don’t be too trigger-happy to use it if it’s not needed.
Aside from these technical driving tips, there are also simple methods you can always practice to economize your car’s fuel. You can almost always find a shorter route. Find a path that will take you and your family to your destination in the shortest time. You can also practice carpooling. By splitting a gas bill you’ll cut the expenses in half! Combining your trips can help, too. If you are heading out to run an errand, be sure to complete everything else you need to do. That way you will get everything done in one trip.
Do you practice driving techniques that have helped you economize your fuel? What are these? Share your thoughts with us in the comments!