The kids are out of school, you’ve built up vacation time at work, and the weather forecast at your favorite getaway spot is looking good – sounds like it’s time for the first family road trip of the summer!
If you’re dreading paying for gas, you’re not alone. The price is lower now than when it reached an all-time average high of $3.64 per gallon in 2012, but the average cost of regular gasoline in Colorado is still $2.38 per gallon as of Memorial Day Weekend. This is higher than one year ago when the average cost was $2.26.
To help you save gas on your upcoming road trip, just follow these tips from Scott’s Fort Collins Auto!
Check Your Tire Pressure
If your tire pressure is too low, your fuel economy suffers. But if the pressure is too high, you run the risk of a blowout on the highway. The ideal tire pressure is necessary for a reliable, fuel-efficient road trip.
Check your tire pressure the morning of your road trip. It’s best to check when the tires are “cold,” meaning you haven’t driven the car for at least three hours. This provides the most accurate reading and helps you top off the tires to just the right amount. If you’re not sure what PSI your tires should be at, check the owner’s manual or tire information label inside the driver’s door.
Remove Non-Essential Weight
Of course, you can’t go on vacation without luggage, but consider other unnecessary weight you can remove from the car before your road trip. For instance, you might want to pull the back seat out of your SUV or minivan to lighten the load. Every pound counts when you’re trying to save gas on a road trip.
Get an Oil Change & Tune-Up
If the time for an oil change isn’t far off, get this task done before your road trip. New oil helps the engine run smoothly, which not only improves gas mileage but also helps you avoid vacation-ending breakdowns.
While your car is in the shop, be sure to have your brake fluid, coolant, and windshield wiper fluid topped off. Also have your hoses, belts, and brakes checked as part of a tune-up to make sure your car will be dependable on the long drive ahead.
Buy Regular Gas (Unless You Have a Sports Car)
It’s a common misconception that premium gas boosts engine performance and fuel efficiency. If your car is designed to run on regular gasoline, higher-octane fuel is just more money out the tailpipe. So unless you drive a sports car that uses turbocharging or supercharging technology, you’ll save gas on a road trip by opting for cheap, regular-octane gas.
Browse for the Cheapest Fuel
Many Smartphone apps are available to help you find the cheapest gas near you. When the fuel gauge starts to get low, have someone in the car look up the best gas station prices in the vicinity. Plan ahead and start browsing once the needle drops below half a tank. This method could potentially save you hundreds of dollars on a long road trip.
Obey the Speed Limit
Each vehicle reaches optimal fuel economy at different speeds, but on average, efficiency peaks around 50 miles per hour. Speed limits on most freeways out west are 75 mph, and even 80 mph in some places. This means you’re already sacrificing fuel efficiency to reach your destination faster. Don’t waste more gas or risk getting a hefty ticket by going over the speed limit.
Use the Cruise Control
A car engine runs most efficiently when it maintains a steady speed. Using the cruise control is the best way to do this. Plus, this technique prevents you from tiring out your leg on a long drive.
Help Save Gas on a Road Trip by Maintaining Your Car at Scott’s
A few days before you head out, stop by Scott’s in Fort Collins for a much-needed oil change and tune-up. We’ll make sure your car is running smoothly for your peace of mind during the much-anticipated family road trip.
To schedule your oil change and tune-up, please contact us online or call (970) 682-4202 and let us know when you would like to stop by.