Save on Gasoline on a Road Trip

The Holiday season is quickly sneaking up on us. By sneaking, I mean it's right in front of our faces and we're starting to plan road trips to visit friends and family. We all know what gas pumps look like around the Holidays. Here are some tips to help you save your pockets and allow yourself an extra treat. In other words, let's learn how to save gas on a road trip!          

1.  Use Cruise Control - This tip is only useful when driving relatively long stretches where traffic is light. But when you find yourself in that situation, if you've got cruise control, use it. By maintaining a constant speed, you won't burn extra gas accelerating and decelerating.        

2. Use Overdrive - Pushing that little "overdrive" button as soon as you're driving at a high enough speed to do so can make a big difference. Overdrive allows your engine to operate at fewer RPMs. If it does less work, then you use less gas. This will also cut down wear and tear on your engine.        

3. Keep Your Windows Closed - You might think that putting the windows down is a fuel saving alternative to air conditioning, but it turns out to be just as bad. Your car must work harder to compensate for the additional drag that open windows cause.      

4. Charge Your Electronics At Home - Air conditioning isn't the only process through which you can drain your gas tank. Anything that utilizes your car battery can ultimately affect how much gas your car burns. The battery power that electronics consume must be replenished by gasoline. So charge your mobile phone, GPS, FM transmitter, and other gadgets before you leave the house.        

5. Use Lower-Octane Gasoline -  Premium gasoline might sound fancy, but it won't do your fuel economy any good. Instead, use the lowest-grade octane that your car specifications call for. Paying for the pricey stuff just wastes money, which could be put towards additional gallons of lower-octane gas instead.        

6. Keep Your Engine Tuned-up - An engine that runs properly will burn fuel more efficiently. So make sure that you get your engine checked out as often as your car's specifications call for. An in-tune engine gets an average of 4% better gas mileage, according to the Department of Energy.   

Use the Recommended Grade of Motor Oil - Different engines have different motor oil specifications. If you're using the wrong stuff, it won't run as efficiently and will burn extra gas.   

Keep Tires Properly Inflated and Aligned -  If your tires aren't gripping the road in the manner intended by your car's designers, then your engine will have to work harder. That means keeping your tires properly inflated and aligning your wheels periodically will prevent wasting gas. 

Author Note: Maria Briggs is the owner and author of the popular family and lifestyle blog, Adventures of the Mommy Homemaker. You can catch all of her great tips and stories on her Facebook page as well. 

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