It’s the middle of summer, which means road trips could be in your future – whether a few hours or a few days away. Gas prices are averaging about $3.50 nationally which means if you don’t want your vacation to put a huge dent in your budget, you should be looking for ways to add some MPGs to each tank of gas. Fortunately, there are some simple techniques you can try that can make your wallet less light at the end of the trip.
- Properly inflate your tires. According to the Department of Energy, every pound per square inch (PSI) that your tires are underinflated, you lower your gas mileage by 0.3 percent. That may not sound like much, but consider this: Proper inflation can raise gas mileage by 3.3 percent, or savings of up to 11 cents per gallon. Not sure what to inflate your tires to? Check the sticker on the driver’s side door jamb or in the car’s owner’s manual.
- Don’t drive aggressively. Speeding, rapid acceleration and rapid braking are all recipes for disastrous gas mileage. At highway speeds, those traits can account for a 33 percent gas mileage hit, and in city driving, that’s a 5 percent drop.
- Obey the speed limit. Speed limits were introduced on highways in the mid-1970s as a response to the 1973 oil crisis. The Department of Energy’s recent data on how speed ties to gas mileage says that every 5 MPH over 50 MPH gas mileage tends to rapidly decrease – to the tune of 25 cents per gallon for every 5 MPH over the speed limit.
- With the speed limit in mind, use your cruise control. It will help you keep a consistent speed close to the speed limit, which will help you save money by increasing your gas mileage.
- Lighten your load. The lighter your vehicle, the better mileage you’ll get. For every 100 pounds of extra weight you’re bringing with you, you’ll increase your mileage by 1 to 2 percent. If you have a roof rack on your vehicle, you can add cargo but it will lower your MPG by about 5 percent because your vehicle is less aerodynamic.
- Shop for an efficient car. If you are looking for a new car, pay attention to the MPG. At $3.61 per gallon, you’ll save approximately $900 per year on gas if you drive a car that gets 30 MPG rather than one at 20 MPG.
If you’re done with your family’s road trip and you’re ready to look for a new vehicle, consider donating your car, truck or SUV to Wheels For Wishes benefiting Make-A-Wish. Your used vehicle can help inspire a local child and make their wish come true.
All you need to do is donate an unwanted car, truck, SUV, RV, motorcycle, or boat and it will help to grant a wish for a local child in your community. All of the hassle that is typically associated with getting rid of an unwanted vehicle is handled for you. No paying for and posting listings. No dealing with set up times for potential buyers to view the vehicle. No haggling or price wars. No producing maintenance logs or waiting for a buyer to have their mechanic look it over.
All you have to do is pick up the phone and call 1-877-431-9474 or fill out our easy online vehicle donation form. You don’t even have to be home when the pick-up happens! It is just that simple and you will feel great about helping those who are striving to feel hope, strength, and joy once again.