Road trip!

road tripGas in my neighborhood has gone up about 50 cents a gallon the the last week which might put a cramp in upcoming summer road trip plans especially if the increases keep coming.  So this week, let’s stop and think about how we can maximize our gas mileage without the expense of going shopping for a hybrid or electric car.

First up – check your tires.  If your tread is wearing unevenly, your car may be out of alignment which can put a drag on your mileage.  Checking your tire tread at least annually is a great idea anyway to make sure your tires are able to grip the road in wet conditions.  Also, don’t forget to check the inflation to make sure you’re in the proper range as shown on the sticker on the driver side doorpost.  Correct tire inflation can save you as much as 3% on your fuel consumption.  Tires can lose up to 1 pound of pressure a month and the change of season can also contribute to changes in tire pressure so take a minute and check it out.

Second – how’s your engine air filter?  A dirty filter can drag down your mileage and even cause stalls and is easy to replace yourself.  Nobody wants to be the person stalled in traffic on the highway!

Last but not least – try not to make your engine work so hard!  Slowing down to the speed limit, not reving your engine, getting your oil changed regularly and turning off the A/C in stop/go traffic are a few ways to take it easy on your engine.  Also – clean out your car!  An extra 100 lbs of gear in your car is like carrying an extra person so look at all that stuff you have in the back – do you really need all of it?

Want some more ideas?  Check out these extra tips and get ready to road trip!