It is pretty simple when it comes down to it; find ways to maximize your MPG. Driving a car can be analogous to a video game. For example, you can drive from point A to point B exactly as stated by your Navigation or Google Maps just like you can play Zelda on Nintendo from beginning to end, but Google Maps and your vehicle do not tell that there are tons of ways to manipulate your car that will save you real money and time by earning an extra 50 miles on the road compared to your previous full tank of gas in your 2013 Nissan Rogue.
Whether you are visiting family, heading to the beach or camping in the mountains, you are probably driving, as it is far more convenient then having to strip down at airport security and that is after paying United Airlines $25.00 for your bag. Considering 31.2 million people hit the roads on Memorial Day Weekend, US drivers will spend approximately $1.44 billion filling up at the pump.
So, in an attempt to save you some of your hard earned wages and to make a small impact on our environments (come on….every bit helps), here are the Top 5 Fuel Saving Tips that will enhance the amount of miles you will achieve while driving per gallon of gasoline this Memorial Day Weekend (and obviously anytime that you are driving your vehicle).
1. Plan Ahead & Pick Your Route Wisely
Most people are fairly lazy when it comes to this specific topic since vehicle navigation is becoming as standard as a CD player in new vehicles. Combine that with the prevalent use of smart phones and map applications and you fill find that most people simply get into their vehicle and then figure out how to get to their end point from the driver’s seat. Yet, since everyone relies on this method, the end result is having everyone on the same road at the same time in a gigantic traffic jam…..wasting fuel.
If you plan ahead, you can avoid this nightmare and waste of expensive fuel. It might mean taking the road less-traveled, but it could result in a more pleasant, scenic route, free of traffic and even if it’s longer, in terms of actual miles driven, it might prove quicker. A moving car that spends less time on the road is more efficient than one stuck in traffic for hours.
2. Check Your Tires
To start, make sure you tire is wearing evenly across the tread because if it is not, you may find yourself an unfortunate situation and/or with a much larger service bill the next time you visit your local Car Dealership. For example, if your tire tread is uneven, this might be a direct result of your vehicles alignment being off.
Or, your tire could just be under-inflated (I know that sounds awkward), which is a quick fix you can accomplish by yourself at any gas station in a matter of minutes. This is an easy fix and it will pay huge dividends. Lower tire pressures can adversely affect wear and increase drag, reducing gas mileage. From a safety standpoint, low pressure tries are my susceptible to overheat at high speeds, and will increase the potential for blowouts.
Tire pressure gauges are inexpensive, and a weekly check will ensure you are always at a safe, economical pressure.
Tires don’t have to cause you much stress, and confirming that yours are always in tip-top shape will both improve safety, and save you money on gas.
3. Check Your Car
Do a few quick checks over your automobile. By checking that the engine has sufficient oil, confirming all the lights work, and cleaning your vehicle before your departure are easy and inexpensive to do and increase the fuel efficiency of your ride.
Although you’ll likely be loading the car up with people and luggage, do a check around to make sure your car isn’t full of junk or unnecessary paraphernalia, like mine is, because it all adds weight, and weight is the enemy of efficient driving.
4. Timing Is Everything
Set off earlier and travel during off hours. No, really. New Yorkers know not to head to the Jersey Shore, Southampton, or the Catskills Friday night. If you have any control over your schedule, take an extra day off or travel at night. After dark, it will be cooler in the car, less taxing on your engine and you will burn less fuel.
Big rigs also take a break in the evening, so fewer trucks on the highway will give you peace of mind over your precious cargo…your loved ones and/or friends. Otherwise, avoid city centers and major interstate exchanges during rush hour or the hours right after lunch.
Finally, you will be able to drive slower (saving fuel) without the anxiety of sitting in traffic.
5. Drive Smoothly
Now we’re onto specific driving techniques. First, treat all the car’s controls with some respect so use smooth, measured inputs. Not only will it make things more pleasant for your passengers, but accelerating, braking and steering smoothly will mean less engine, brake and tire wear, which increases your vehicles fuel efficiency.
That is not to say you need to travel everywhere at a snail’s pace either. It’s better to accelerate briskly, but be sure to change gears earlier. In addition, reach your economical cruising speed sooner. Hence do not draw out your acceleration. The more time you spend in the process of accelerating, the less time you will spend at low revs in top gear, where the best economy can be had.
I hope these tips help you save a few bucks this weekend and whenever you decide to go on your next road trip.
Happy Driving This Memorial Day from everyone at Windsor Nissan!!!!
How fuel efficient is your vehicle? Check out these vehicles that get over 26 MPG! The good news for motorists is that gasoline prices are expected to be more affordable in the coming months than they were during the two preceding summers. According to the U.S. Energy Information Administration’s (EIA) just released Short Term Energy Outlook, retail gas prices are expected to average $3.63 a gallon during this summer’s driving season. This figure is slightly below the $3.69 figure recorded last year and $3.71 in summer of 2011, and is only slightly higher than the national average of $3.61 a gallon as of April 8.
This sunny forecast is largely based on an expected decline in crude oil prices combined with higher gasoline inventory levels and a continuing drop in demand due to increased small-car sales and other factors. The EIA predicts the price of Brent crude oil (a benchmark that’s tied to wholesale gasoline costs in the U.S.), will average $107.50 per barrel this summer, which would be around $1.50 less than it was during the same period in 2012.
Of course, gasoline prices continue to vary by region, and at that they’ll still tend to cost the most in larger cities where costlier summer-blend fuel is mandated for environmental reasons. Chicago is suffering the highest prices in the nation at an average $4.05 a gallon, and that’s still for winter-blend fuel. Those living on the West Coast will likely see the highest gas prices during the upcoming vacation season with the EIA predicting an average of $3.89 a gallon, while residents of the Gulf Coast will enjoy the lowest fuel costs at an average of $3.47 a gallon.
But will less-volatile gas prices give consumers the itch to jump back into big cars and trucks with the same vigor as they did back in the early 2000s? Not likely. Consumers, perhaps numbed by the rollercoaster behavior of fuel prices over the past five or six years, don’t seem to be particularly reactive to even relatively major swings these days. According to a study conducted by the research company Experian Automotive, a one-dollar variation in gasoline prices can be expected to account for just a 0.7 difference in small car sales at the one end of the new-vehicle spectrum and a 0.5 percent difference in full-size pickup truck sales at the other.