The road trip season is upon us! Everyone is packing up and hitting the open road for summer!
Although, ideally an electric or hybrid vehicle would be convenient for this long drives, the reality is, they are not convenient for families or large loads of gear needing to be packed along. Having said that, with a “soccer mom” SUV, it can be a little bit more of a challenge to get the most out of your miles.
Have no fear, this post discusses 6 different little known tricks and tips to boost your fuel economy and reap the benefits of your vehicle’s MPG!
1. Quit Loading Dead Weight
This is referring to all of the extra, and pointless, junk you load into your vehicle for the road trip. Are you really going to need all of those pairs of shoes for sitting in the car? Or your kids’ soccer bags, even though the season ended?
Getting rid of this excess weight can really help your engine burn less fuel, or at least burn it slower, increasing your fuel economy.
2. Ensure the Oil is not Old
Many people do not realize it, but the age and quality of your engine oil does have a direct correlation to your vehicle’s fuel economy.
By keeping up with your oil maintenance on your vehicle, it ensures that the vital functions not only keep the car running smoothly, but also makes sure that they are running efficiently.
3. Cruise Control IS NOT Your Friend
Contrary to popular belief, cruise control does not actually help your vehicle’s fuel economy. While the theory makes sense as to the system helping your MPG, it does not consider the changes in the terrain your are driving on.
If you don’t believe me, try it! Set your cruise control on the highway and go over rolling hills, like the Yakima Canyon. You will notice how hard your vehicle runs and how much your car works to accelerate up the hill.
If the roads being driven on your completely flat with no traffic, then cruise control would be perfect. But the fact of the matter is that on most road trips, that is not the case. Keeping your vehicle off of cruise controls enables you to have more control over how the roads are handled!
4. Avoid Traffic (As Best You Can)
I know this is easier said than done for a lot of people, but taking the extra 5 mile drive home on the back roads to avoid the pile up on the highway will actually be your car’s best friend!
Another way to help with this is to download different GPS apps. One of the most popular apps is called “Waze”. This app gives real time traffic and construction updates, as well as alters the route of your driving if an incident comes up that would slow you down.
Give it a try next time you are trying to save at the pump!
5. Keep Your Tires Properly Inflated
This may be common knowledge, but for those that don’t know, under-inflated tires can exponentially lower your vehicle’s fuel economy. But low MPG isn’t the only consequence or low air pressure. It can also cause poor handling and premature wear.
It is as easy as stopping by your local gas station to check your air pressure in your tires before hitting the road!
6. Break Those Bad Habits!
We all know people have bad driving habits. I, myself, am guilty of this too! Personally, my bad habit is accelerating too quickly, which causes my car to burn through fuel quicker. Changing this habit can drastically enhance my fuel economy.
Fun fact: Aggressive driving, such as speeding and accelerating too fast, can drop your MPG by a whopping 33%!!!
So next time you feel like you are in a hurry or have a need for speed, remember that the more consistent your driving becomes, the more your wallet will thank you at the pump!