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Gas-Saving Road Trip Tips

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Watch Your Driving Technique

Paying closer attention to the driving conditions around you can really be worth it.

  • Drive 55. When on the highway, drive the speed limit or even five miles below it—as close to 55 mph, max, as you safely can (there's a reason the U.S. government lowered speed limits during a prior gas crisis). AAA estimates that driving slower can boost mileage by 5 percent.
  • Don't stop and start. Avoid abruptly stopping and starting; accelerating from a standstill requires extra fuel. Instead, be aware of the timing of red lights so you can slowly coast to the light and reach it as it turns green-without coming to a full stop.
  • Use cruise control. Where traffic and road conditions allow it, automatic fuel use is much more waste-free than trying to maintain a constant speed using your lead foot.
  • Watch when you fill your tank. If you overfill the tank, gas can slosh around and escape. Be sure your gas cap clicks three times—every year 147 million gallons of fuel vaporize from tanks in the U.S.
  • Drive when it's cooler outside. According to AAA, cooler, denser air can increase power and mileage. Hit the road early in the morning or later in the evening when the temperature drops, especially in the summer. You'll save on air-conditioning costs too.
  • Use the AC. A few years back the advice was the opposite: turn the air off and open the windows. Because air conditioners are more efficient, they now cause less drag on the engine than driving with the windows down.
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