Fuel-Saving Tips for the Summer Season

Follow the speed limit? Don't use the A/C so much? Don't drive fast with the windows down? This advice might sound like a drag, but it can save you some dough.

If you’re looking for a cool website devoted exclusive to cars and car culture, look no further than Jalopnik.com. The blog-format site is from the same people responsible for the pop culture snarkfest Gawker and the tech site Gizmodo, among others.

Jalopnik’s regular features include the Question of the Day, Car Porn, and I Feel Gassy, all about gas prices, fuel efficiency, and the like. Here’s some of Jalopnik’s advice on what drivers can do to save money on gas, besides searching for the cheapest gas station in their area:

  • Stick to the speed limit. The EPA estimates drivers can increase fuel efficiency by 10 to 15 percent by maintaining a constant speed of 55 miles per hour (unless of course the speed limit is 65, but the idea remains the same). That also means not pumping the accelerator and using cruise control whenever possible.
  • No idling. Today’s cars don’t need to “warm up,” and idling while you wait for your wife to get out of the supermarket wastes fuel and creates more dangerous air emissions.
  • Keep your tires properly inflated to the recommended pressure. Properly inflated tires can reduce the average amount of fuel used by 3 to 4 percent, according to the site.
  • Keep your car in tip-top condition. Check your wheel alignment, change the air filter and oil regularly, and keep your inspections up to date.
  • No junk in the trunk. Remove excess baggage, which weighs down your vehicle and reduces fuel efficiency. And now you have an excuse to disinvite crazy Uncle Roger from your family’s annual camping trip.
  • Use the heater and air conditioner sparingly. Both suck gas in order to operate.
  • Don’t drive at high speeds with windows open. This is a tough one, because really, driving down the open road with the wind in your face is what summer is all about. But something about aerodynamics slowing down the car… blah, blah, blah.
  • Use good quality EC (energy conserving) oils marked with the symbol ECII, which is the American Society of Testing Materials logo for fuel-efficient oil.
  • Plan ahead. Can you consolidate several errands or trips, or make sure you’re doing your driving during slower times instead of rush hour? Consider carpooling, and use mass transit whenever possible.

You’ve probably heard many of these tips before, but common sense advice bears repeating, especially with heavy driving season here.

Do you have other fuel-saving tips to share?


John Tirella June 26, 2011 at 03:02 PM
All fossil fuel vehicles must be at optimum operating temp. to maximize fuel efficency. You will burn more fuel when cold and also when over temp.. Ask an expert regarding fuel efficiency, please.
John Tirella June 26, 2011 at 03:28 PM
By the way, using belt driven accessories like water pumps, air compressors, power steering pumps and alternators does depleat horse power efficency to the rear wheels. The more load, the more fuel. The bigger displacement the better is the rule. Small power plants have to work harder and use more fuel which equates to more fuel usage.
Mike A June 26, 2011 at 10:23 PM
i guess they can't ask you
John Tirella June 26, 2011 at 11:28 PM
Au contraire Mike! www.atlcarolinas.com Just visit our shop and if you have any questions we will be glad to answer them. Use the contact page and we will answer you're questions via email. By the way we are a certified Porsche race facility for the PCA.


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