With Memorial Day weekend just around the corner and families preparing for summer driving trips, the high cost of gas is on everyone’s minds. While drivers can’t control fuel prices, they can add some simple modifications to their every day driving routines to save fuel.
“People often cite fuel economy as one of the main factors they consider when purchasing a new vehicle,” said Graham Tash of Titus-Will Ford in Tacoma, Wash. “However, not everyone can afford a new car, so it’s important to pass along tips to maximize fuel efficiency, especially for people who are planning driving trips this summer. It’s an easy way to save a little in a tight economy.”
Tash recommends making these small adjustments to save on gas:
- Accelerate and brake smoothly – Accelerating smoothly from a stop and braking softly conserves fuel. Fast starts, weaving in and out of traffic, and hard braking wastes fuel and wears out some of the car components, such as brakes and tires, more quickly.
- Roll up car windows when traveling more than 50 mph. Driving with the windows open at highway speeds increases aerodynamic drag on the vehicle and lowers fuel economy.
- Use your air conditioning selectively to reduce the load on the engine. Decreasing your usage of the air conditioner when temperatures are above 80 degrees can help you save 10-15 percent of fuel. Use the vent setting as much as possible. Park in the shade to keep car cool and reduce the need for air conditioning.
- Stay on top of vehicle maintenance. Safety features like tire pressure monitoring and regular air filter changes can enhance fuel savings. Keeping your tires properly inflated can reduce the average amount of fuel use by 3-4 percent.
- Travel light – Avoid piling a lot of items on the roof rack, as this can reduce aerodynamics and reduce fuel efficiency by as much as 5 percent. Remove excess weight from the vehicle and unneeded items from the trunk.
- Pick a smart route by avoiding congestion and traffic lights, which result in “stop and go” travel.
Ford Motor Company, a global automotive industry leader based in Dearborn, Mich., manufactures or distributes automobiles across six continents. With about 166,000 employees and about 70 plants worldwide, the company’s automotive brands include Ford and Lincoln. The company provides financial services through Ford Motor Credit Company. For more information regarding Ford’s products, please visit www.ford.com.