Whether driving to a famous theme park with friends or bringing the family to the beach for an entire week, the summer is a great time to get away, relax, and have some fun. Unfortunately, summer road trips require a long period of operating your vehicle in harsh road conditions and intense temperatures, so preparing your vehicle and yourself for this abuse is essential. Maintaining your vehicle and using a few smart driving tips will reduce the amount of gas used during your road trip. Using these tips, you can improve your vehicle's gas mileage and reduce the cost of your road trip this summer.
Inflate your Tires
Before departing on your road trip, be sure to check your tire pressure. Every 1 PSI drop of air pressure in your four tires can reduce your gas mileage by 0.3 percent. This may not seem like a large amount, but it can quickly add up to be wasteful and expensive.
It is important to note that many factors can make your air pressure fluctuate. Extreme temperatures outside will increase the temperature of the road, causing friction and an increase in temperature in your tires. This can cause changes in your air pressure.
In addition, damage to your tire or poor quality of tread can reduce your air pressure. Use the Quarter Method to check the tread of your tires periodically. Place a quarter, with the President Washington's head facing down, into different spaces between the tire tread. If part of the Washington's head is covered by the tread, you have an adequate and safe amount of tread.
Making sure your tires are properly inflated and have sufficient tread will not only help you drive safely but also improve your vehicle's gas mileage.
Driving aggressively is not only dangerous to you and your vehicle, but it can also place others on the road at risk. With so many people expected to take road trips this summer, driving safely is even more important.
Use the following tips to drive safely and to also ensure your vehicle is using gas in an efficient manner:
- Speed – You may think speeding on highways is keeping up with the traffic, but it is also wasting gas and costing you money. Reducing your speed from 65 MPH to 55 MPH can increase the number of miles you get per gallon by 15 percent.
- Aggression – Constant braking and fast accelerating also wastes gas. This aggressive behavior while operating your vehicle not only decreases the number of miles you get per gallon of gas, but it will also increase your risk of an accident.
When flying, you most likely only pack imperative items. This ensures you do not have to pay for checking heavier or extra pieces of luggage. When on a road trip, you should also pack lightly, since these unnecessary items weight down your vehicle and decrease your gas mileage.
Consider renting items at your vacation destination instead of hauling them in your vehicle. Avoid storing cargo on top of your roof, as well. A cargo box may seem useful for transporting items to your destination without crowding the interior of your vehicle, but the cargo box is heavy. This extra weight slows down your vehicle, decreasing the number of miles you can drive per gallon of gas.
Bikes, grills, coolers, lounge chairs, umbrellas, boats and recreational vehicles, toys, and camping gear are all readily available to rent at most popular vacation destinations.
By renting these items instead of hauling or packing them, you can decrease the vehicle's weight and improve your total gas mileage during the summer road trip.
A summer road trip is an exciting adventure for family and friends, but it can become costly. Using these simple solutions, you can improve your vehicle's gas mileage and reduce the cost of your summer road trip.