How to Improve Your Gas Mileage on Long Trips | Scott's Fort Collins Auto

How to Improve Your Gas Mileage on Long Trips

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Summer is right around the corner which means many families will begin packing up the car to head out of town on road trips. If you’re one of these families, continue reading this to learn how you can improve your gas mileage on these long trips.

What is Gas Mileage? 

The gas mileage in your car is it’s fuel efficiency. To get technical, gas mileage is the ratio of the number of miles traveling to the number of gallons of gasoline burned. The standard way to measure fuel efficiency is through miles per gallon (MPG). To explain, this is how many miles your can can go on one gallon of gas. With a sole gallon of gas, you can typically go further on a highway than you could in the city. 

When you drive in the city, you are starting and stopping, speeding up and slowing down, quite often. With all of the red lights, traffic, and stop signs, you are driving at slower speeds with higher revolutions per minute (RMP). When you add this to sitting idle in traffic or at a light, your car loses more gas even though it’s not moving as much.  

Maintaining Good Gas Mileage

Many people use the summer months and time off from school and work to hit the road. As a driver, having good gas mileage means your car is running as efficiently as possible — and that you’re saving money. If you want to maintain good gas mileage on your road trips this summer, follow these tips

  1. Reduce your speed

It’s in our nature to rush, rush, rush. However, when you take a road trip this summer, think about slowing down. Not only will this allow you to take in more scenery on your way to a new place, it will also optimize your fuel efficiency. Your car is optimized for somewhere around 60 miles per hour. This means that when you’re hitting upwards of 80 miles per hour, you could potentially be raising the price of gas for yourself up to $1 per gallon. Save money and enjoy the trip by slowing down.

  1. Drive smart 

It’s tempting to use cruise control constantly, however, this can lower your gas mileage quite a bit — especially when driving up hills. When you use cruise control, it tries to maintain a steady speed as closely as possible. This is fine when you’re driving on steady, flat roads, however, when going up hills and uneven terrain there are better ways to maintain speed. Ways to drive smart include:

  • Coasting downhill. This is nature’s way of giving you more momentum for free.
  • If you see a red light, take your foot off the gas pedal and let nature slow you down rather than braking (but make sure it is safe to do so with how current traffic is). 
  • Maintain pedal position when driving uphill. Rather than using cruise control, maintain how your foot is on the gas pedal to keep going at the same pace. 
  1. Don’t pack so much

It’s easy to overpack when you’re taking your own car and aren’t having to pack a simple bag to catch a flight, however, the additional weight can drag you down. Clean your car out of your children’s toys and things that have built up in the backend before you leave. Only pack what you know you’ll need on the trip. 

  1. Keep your tires inflated

When you go out on a road trip, take the time to make sure your tires are properly inflated. Check with your car’s manufacturing guidelines to see what the recommended tire pressure is for your car and go with that. Over- or under-inflating your tires can cost you 1% of your fuel economy. 

If you have a trip planned on your calendar, taking these tips into consideration now will not only keep you safe on the road, but they will also make you a more efficient driver and save you money. 

Get Trip Ready with Scott’s Auto

Before you head out of town, bring your car by Scott’s Auto for a quick inspection to make sure you’re leaving town with no problems happening within your car. With five convenient locations, we’re here for you when you need us. Whether you’re hitting the road for summer fun or just need to make sure your car is equipped for your commute each day, we’re here for you. 


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