10 Tips For More Fuel-Efficient Summer Driving

It’s the summer holiday season, which for many people means long hours on the road headed to the beach, the countryside, the mountains, the lake, amusement parks… and of course back home again. With gas prices still putting a crimp in many drivers’ wallets, the grease monkeys at AutoMD.com have come up 10 things you can do to enjoy your warm-weather ride with a few less worries.

First, there are 5 simple things you can do to your vehicle that will help improve fuel efficiency:

1. Replace/Tighten Your Gas Cap – Increase your fuel efficiency by up to 2% by making sure gas isn’t evaporating through loose or old gas caps.

2. Inflate/Change Your Tires – Says AutoMD: “Keeping your tires inflated to the proper pressure, you can improve your gas mileage by up to 3.3 percent. By replacing your tires with efficient ‘low rolling resistance’ tires, individual vehicles could save up to 6 percent of gasoline use.”

3. Change Your Oil – Reduce engine friction with energy conserving or synthetic motor oil and up your fuel efficiency 1-2%.

4. Replace Spark Plugs – If your spark plugs are misfiring, you could be wasting up to 30% of your fuel efficiency.

5. Replace the Engine Air Filter A clogged air filter could be draining anywhere from 2-14% of your vehicle’s fuel efficiency, depending on how badly it’s mucked up.

And then there’s these 5 tips on driving habits that will save you money in the long run:

1. Cruise Don’t Speed – According to AutoMD, “Each 5 mph you drive over 60 mph is like paying an additional $0.24 per gallon for gas.”

2. Lighten the Lead Foot – Gunning the engine to get up to highway speed is an inefficient way of accelerating. “Slowly increasing your speed and leaving more room to slow down while braking will reduce your fuel burn and improve your gas mileage,” says AutoMD.

3. Avoid Idling – Since an idle engine does nothing but burn fuel while not getting you any closer to your destination, they suggest turning off the engine if you’re going to be standing for more than 30 seconds.

4. Remove Excess Weight – Packing light can save you cash at the pump, as excess weight has a negative impact on your vehicle’s fuel efficiency.

5. Turn on the Ventilator/Turn off the AC/Roll up the Windows – This one’s a little complicated. If you’re just driving around town, roll down the windows and let the outside air in. But if you’re on the highway, roll those windows up because the drag can actually be more of a drain on your fuel than air conditioning.

Got any more? Do you call shenanigans on any of these tips?

AutoMD.com’s Top Fives for Fuel-Efficient Summer Drives [AutoMD.com]