If you are hitting the open road this summer, prepare to pay more at the gas pump.
According to CNN, gas prices are expected to increase 14% over last summer. Thankfully, that won’t stall Americans’ summer road trip plans. AAA estimates that about two-thirds of the 88 million families taking a vacation this summer will opt to drive to their destination.
There are ways to help make that stop at the gas pump a little less painful. Here are five common sense tips from AAA to make the most of your vehicle’s fuel efficiency.
1. Engine maintenance
Stick to your maintenance schedule, because a well-tuned engine translates to optimal fuel efficiency. Don’t ignore that check engine light.
2. Keep tires properly inflated
Yes, tire conditions play a huge role in fuel economy. Underinflated tires increase rolling resistance, which will have you filling up more frequently. Plus, underinflated tires can trigger a car accident.
3. Steady driving habits
What kind of driver are you? Aggressive speeders burn more fuel. Going the speed limit may not get you to your destination any quicker but it could shave a few dollars spent refueling.
4. Use the right motor oil
Schedule regular oil changes, which includes changing the oil filter. Also, between oil changes, verify your oil levels are always in the safe range. Low oil levels will affect your engine’s efficiency, which in turn reduces fuel efficiency.
5. Check/replace your engine filter
The more you are able to keep dirt and residue from getting into your engine, the greater your chances of maintaining proper air flow into the fuel delivery system. A dirty air filter can affect gas mileage up to 6%.