Gas-Saving Road Trip Tips
Watch Your Driving Technique
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
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.
By Karen Catchpole
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