The signs of summer are beginning to take shape. Schools are on summer break, thunderstorms are in the air, the grass has turned green, the trees are loaded with leaves, and the price of fuel at the gas pump has increased. In 2012 the price of gasoline was over $4.00 per gallon in some areas. Going on a summer road trip does not have to break the bank at the pump. By following a few gas conserving tips at home and on the road, you will have enough funds left to enjoy on your summer vacation.
Buy Gas Early or Late in the Day
During the warm months, the outside temperature affects the way gasoline behaves at the pump. During the cooler parts of the day, gas is more dense. As temperatures rise, gas density falls and you get less of it when you fill your tank. It is also a good idea to fill up early in the week. Generally, gas prices fluctuate Wednesday through Saturday, and although they may go down, chances are better that they will go up as demand increases through the summer months.
Check Your Tire Pressure
Temperature fluctuations can wreak havoc on your tire pressure. Properly inflated tires reduce road friction, thus giving you better gas mileage. Under inflation also causes tires to wear faster, putting you at the tire shop before maximizing the life of your current tires.
Get a Tune Up
An ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure, after all. A properly tuned engine uses less gas. It is also worth it to avoid car problems while on your summer vacation that could have been easily headed off by a trip to the mechanic beforehand.
Drive Steadily and Slowly
By driving at or under the speed limit and maintaining consistent speed, your car will use gas more efficiently. If you accelerate quickly and use brakes heavily you are not only causing extra strain on your brake pads, but increasing the drag that causes your car to use more gasoline.
Reduce Wind Resistance
Remove any unneeded ski or luggage racks from your car. If they are not being used for your summer road trip, the only purpose they are serving is adding wind resistance to your vehicle. Also, keep windows closed when possible, as open windows also contribute to reducing the aerodynamics of your car.
Fill Your Tank Near State Lines
This involves a bit of research ahead of time, but due to fluctuating tax rates gas prices can vary significantly from state to state. If you discover you are driving through a state with a low tax rate, you could save a bundle by filling in that state when you enter it, and again before you leave it.
Turn the Engine Off
If you are waiting at a rest stop or waiting for other members of your group to get ready to go, there is no need to let the engine idle. This not only uses extra gas, but releases pollutants into the air.
Change Your Filters
Dust and grime build on filters that help your engine run efficiently. When they are dirty, your vehicle works harder to push through air and liquid and therefore uses more gasoline.
By following these gas saving tips you don’t have to wait for gas prices to go down before heading out on your summer road trip. Drive smart, drive safe, and be savvy.