“Road trip!” What a tempting idea, especially now that it’s summer. But with gas prices climbing higher than the temperature at noon in mid-July, you’ll need a plan to make sure they don’t break your budget.
Of course, all the tried and true gas saving strategies are a must. Make sure your tires are properly inflated and your car’s properly tuned. Keep your ride smooth by driving slower, coasting when possible and not being aggressive in traffic. Change your oil every three months or 3,000 miles.
But don’t stop with the basics—there’s a lot more you can do. Take this quiz to learn about five lesser-known tips that also can help cut your gas costs.
True. When driving more than 40 miles an hour, experts feel you’re better off running your air conditioner than rolling down your windows. The drag on your car’s aerodynamics with an open window is worse for your mileage than running your A/C.
(C) Many tire stores are recommending that you use nitrogen instead of regular air to fill your tires. Because nitrogen molecules are larger than oxygen molecules, they’re less likely to escape from your tire—and that means your tires will hold their pressure longer.
False. The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency and Consumer Reports have tested dozens of these products and found no proof that most of them work. Even those that showed marginal improvement are not worth the expense. Save your money to fill your tank.
(A) It does take a small increase in gas to start the car, but after 10 seconds, you’re wasting more gas by idling than if you turned it off and then restarted when you’re ready to move. Remember, idling achieves zero miles per gallon.
False. We’ve all rounded up gas charges to the next dollar. But that’s money for nothing, since the gas we’re paying for is likely to slop around or seep out. Once the automatic nozzle clicks off, consider your job done.