For many families, today marks the unofficial start of the Memorial Day weekend. As the summer travel season kicks off, gas prices have dipped slightly since peaking earlier this year. However, I still don’t think paying nearly $4 per gallon is cheap by any means.
Fortunately, there are ways you can fuel up for your holiday road trip without breaking the bank:
Timing is Key: Experts recommend filling your car with gas in the early morning rather than during the heat of the afternoon. If you wait to fuel up later in the day you’ll end up with less gas than you are paying for since gasoline expands when heated.
Inflate Tires: Underinflated tires waste fuel. What’s more, they can be a potential driving hazard as they wear out the tire tread and cause your vehicle to become unbalanced.
Check Engine: A well-tuned engine burns less gas and saves money in the long run. Prior to hitting the road, take your vehicle in for a tune-up. Fresh oil and the right parts will keep your engine operating as it should and will maximize your fuel investment.
Pack Light: This may be challenging if you are traveling with a slew of kids. However, keep in mind that for every 250 pounds of additional weight your engine hauls, your car loses about one mile per gallon in fuel economy. Pack as efficiently as possible and carry only the basic emergency equipment.
Don’t be a speed demon: While you might want to be the first one at the beach, consider that the faster you drive, the more gas you use. Driving at 55 mph rather than 65 mph can improve your fuel economy by two miles per gallon.
Cool Facts: According to AAA, closed windows decrease air resistance, which helps save on fuel consumption. When you are driving on the highway it makes sense to run the air conditioner; however, when you are driving on city streets and are stopping and starting regularly, it’s better to open your windows to reduce fuel use.