CONSUMER REPORTS — Rising gas prices can put a damper on summer vacation plans, but here’s some good news- Consumer Reports has some easy tips to squeeze every mile out of your gas tank, and it all starts before you hit the road.
“You want to start out by checking your tire pressure. Having tires with lower pressure than what is recommended on your door jamb sticker can affect fuel economy, along with performance and handling,” said Mike Quincy, Consumer Reports Auto Editor.
Next, look up top. Remove the roof rack if it isn’t being used. At highway speeds, more than 50-percent of engine power goes to overcoming aerodynamic drag.
Another tip is to avoid adding to this drag by carrying unneeded things on the roof.
Don’t speed, either. Along with being a safety risk, it can really hurt your fuel economy. CR found that reducing the speed of a RAV4 from 75 to 65 miles per hour improved fuel economy by 6 miles per gallon, and dropping down to 55 mph improved it by another 8 miles per gallon.
“The harder you accelerate, the more fuel you use. The goal should be to drive evenly and anticipate the movement of traffic. Smooth acceleration, cornering, and braking help extend the life of the engine, transmission, brakes, and tires too,” Quincy said.
Before you leave, use your phone to check prices along your route. Generally, gas stations well off major highways and away from city centers may have better prices, as do warehouse stores and some travel centers.