Five Tips To Save Gas on That Fun Summer Road Trip

No matter what the price of fuel is, it’s still not a fun way to spend the money you’ve worked so hard all year to save. The good news is that there are several simple tips to help you stay away from the gas pump longer, keep more money in your pocket and avoid any last minute car repairs along the way.

VW GTI Camping
Summer is officially here and even better news is that next week is July 4th. Since many Americans will get a few days off for the holiday, it’s the perfect time for that summer road trip. Gas prices have declined somewhat in the past few weeks, but the the national average price for a gallon of regular gas is still around $3.50. No matter what the price of fuel is, it’s still not a fun way to spend the money you’ve worked so hard all year to save. The good news is that there are several simple tips to help you stay away from the gas pump longer, keep more money in your pocket and avoid any last minute car repairs along the way.
1. Make sure your car maintenance is up to date: The last thing you want to worry about is having your car break down on the side of the road. Driving around with dirty oil, a poorly tuned engine or a faulty oxygen sensor is not only horrible for your car, but will end up costing you more in fuel costs and future repair bills. Making sure that your car is using the recommended oil will make sure your car gets the best possible fuel economy. You can improve your gas mileage by 1-2 percent by using the manufacturer’s recommended grade of motor oil. The Department of Energy estimates that by replacing a bad oxygen sensor can improve your miles per gallon by up to 40 percent.


2. Slow down: We all want to get our vacations started and the idea of driving faster to get there may seem like a good idea, but the faster your drive the lower your gas mileage will be. According to fueleconomy.gov, every 5 mph you drive over 50 mph is basically equal to paying an additional $0.26 per gallon of gas. Using your car’s cruise control will also help maintain a constant speed and save gas on flatter roads. If you’re towing a trailer up a steady hill, turn the cruise control off as it will make your engine work even harder as it tries to maintain a certain speed.

1927 Dodge Graham

3. Don’t pack your whole closet: It may seem like a good idea to pack your car up with every article of clothing in your closet, all your kids toys and needless camping supplies, but all of this adds weight and makes your car use even more gas. According to energy.gov, carrying an extra 100 pounds of stuff will cost you an additional $0.08 per gallon of gas. Tell your wife that she doesn’t need to bring every pair of her shoes.

4. Properly inflated tires make sense: Don’t just eyeball your tires before you head onto the road, properly checking your tire pressure to make sure that they are at the right tire pressure can save you up to $0.11 per gallon of gas. It’s probably also a good idea to check each tire’s condition. Who wants to spend priceless hours of their vacation stuck in the middle of nowhere because of a flat or blowout? Spending five extra minutes to check your tires is way better then being stuck on the side of the road with a crying kid in the back or a nagging wife scowling at you from the passenger seat.

5. Plan your trip accordingly: Before setting out on the road, plan out your route. Getting lost will not only mean you will be driving further, but you will burn more gas. While you’re at it, it may be a good idea to figure out where gas stations are on the route. You could also use one of the many available apps on your smart phone to help you find the cheapest gas stations along your way.

VW GTI Camping.jpg

(These photos were taken on a summer road trip that we took to Yosemite National Park)

Have a great July 4th!

Check Out: Five Tips to Prepare Your Ride for Summer