Gas Saving Tips

By Dejan B.. Published on April 27, 2017

When it's time to hit the road, fuel costs are on travelers' minds. In fact, according to the American Customer Satisfaction Index (ACSI), price is the leading indicator of customer satisfaction in the retail gas station market. Therefore, it's also no surprise that fuel economy is also top of mind. A survey conducted by the Consumer Reports National Research Center found that 53 percent of American vehicle owners want to see better fuel economy in the next car they purchase.

But did you know that fuel economy isn't only dictated by the automobile manufacturer's engineering standards? Driver habits can make a big difference in fuel economy – and the total cost you pay at the pump. Driving comparable cars, it's not unusual to see one driver getting an EPA fuel economy rating of 20 miles per gallon (MPG) when another driver can squeeze 30 MPG from the same make and model. Often, it's not what you buy, but how you drive that matters.

Get into a Gas Saving Gear on Your Next Road Trip

A road trip is the perfect time to practice fuel-friendly driving habits. It's an opportunity to make sure you are keeping your car in good working order and doing everything possible behind the wheel to save gas – and money. Fuel is a significant part of any vacation budget, so the more you save, the more you can budget for food, lodging and family recreational activities.

Here’s how to be more fuel efficient next time you travel:

If you own a gas guzzler, decide if renting makes sense

If you drive an older car or one with a low fuel economy rating, it may be more economical to rent a more fuel-efficient vehicle for a long road trip. You can compare the MPG and fuel cost ratings of your car with newer models at Once you start accounting for vehicle depreciation, maintenance expenses and fuel costs, renting may be a practical option that can save you money and give you greater peace of mind.

Perform scheduled maintenance and get a pre-trip inspection

Ensuring your car stays in proper working order is something you should be doing on a regular basis. Now is a good time to make sure that all scheduled services are completed. A pre-trip inspection by a qualified mechanic is also recommended. They can make sure your vehicle is operationally safe and take fuel-conserving measures like checking for proper tire inflation, cleaning or replacing air filters, and using the right motor oil.

Pack as lightly as possible

A big trip can mean loading up the car with clothes, camping equipment, bicycles and more. Make sure everything you pack has a purpose. When it comes to fuel economy, every 100 pounds in excess weight can mean a 1% decline in MPG. In addition, vehicles have maximum load limits, and putting extra strain on tires and suspension components further affects the car's performance.

You can drive 55

One of the most significant factors in fuel economy is the way you drive. Fast or aggressive driving (speeding, rapid acceleration, and heavy braking), can lower your gas mileage by roughly 15% to 30% at highway speeds and 10% to 40% in city traffic conditions, according to the U.S. Department of Energy. Consistent driving at 50-55 miles per hour is the "sweet spot" for realizing optimal fuel efficiency. Slow down, and savor your vacation!

Use cruise control

It is generally accepted that for long-distance highway driving on flat surfaces, using cruise control can increase your fuel economy. A study by suggests it can provide a savings of up to 14 percent by smoothing out a driver's tendency to accelerate and decelerate. However, many experts suggest turning off cruise control when going through areas requiring significant uphill and downhill driving.

Avoid using roof racks and cargo boxes

Science is pretty clear here: reducing drag reduces fuel use. And the faster you are going, the more this rule comes into play. Vehicle design has long placed a focus on aerodynamics and its role in performance. Using aftermarket roof racks and cargo boxes are like operating a boat with a dragging anchor. They can reduce fuel efficiency by as much as 25% during highway driving. Now, if you have a lot of gear and are taking back roads at slow speeds, the effect on your fuel efficiency will be much lower; however, if you're cruising down the freeway, expect more gas stops and a much higher total fuel bill.

Let Mother Nature provide the air conditioning

The effect of air conditioning on fuel consumption is controversial since the other option is opening the windows, which increases drag (see the previous section). So, for many, it comes down to "six of one, half a dozen of the other", with a negligible effect on total fuel efficiency. Just drive carefully and be comfortable. On the other hand, this is a road trip. When you're off the interstate and on the blue roads, crank open the windows and let the breeze blow in. That's what driving is all about – fresh air and freedom!

Avoid peak holiday travel

If you're like a lot of people, you're planning your trip around a major holiday. But if you can avoid peak travel days, you'll hit less congestion everywhere, from the major arteries to the entrances of popular attractions and small town Main Streets that thrive on holiday travelers. Remember, steadier speeds, fewer crowds and less idling improve your fuel efficiency, not to mention decrease your overall stress level.


Veronica on 5/16/2018, said:

More things to see :)

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