Best Practices in Summer to Help Your Car Get Better Gas Mileage

White car on the freeway in summer.Between the summer vacation miles you’re going to wrack up on your car and the need for AC in these hot New England summers, anything and everything you can do to increase your miles per gallon will pay dividends – especially with gas prices as they are in 2022. If you’re not ready to get a new vehicle (or go electric), here are some best practices to start to help your car get better gas mileage – both under the hood and outside it.

Summer Maintenance on Your Vehicle

Your gas efficiency will be at its highest when your car is in perfect working order. Spending an hour inspecting your car and fixing small things can make all the difference (and keep you safer).

  • Check for Damage, Including Salt & Rust. New England winters are no joke. Check for damage from both winter driving and salt buildup.
  • Open the Hood. Spending 15 minutes checking under the hood can do wonders. Check for loose connections and wires, as well as checking oil, coolant, transmission, power steering, and brake fluid lines.
  • Check Your Tires. As the days get warmer, your tire pressure can change dramatically. Having flat or rock-hard tires can take a toll on your gas mileage.
  • Clean Out Your Car. If you’re carrying around extra junk, such as trash, things you mean to drop off or store, or under-used equipment – get it out of the car to increase effectiveness.

Efficiently Balancing AC and Window Use

Did you know that you don’t always get better gas efficiency using windows over the AC? Opening windows causes air resistance, and at high speeds (over 50 mph), drag significantly eats into your fuel efficiency. At lower speeds, especially with lots of stops and starts, keeping those windows down makes more sense. If you’ve just started the car or are idling, try not to run the AC – they aren’t very effective in those first few minutes of startup. Speaking of effective, try not to max out the AC as that’ll require more use of the AC compressor – putting more strain on your engine.

Learn more about AC and Window use in this blog.

Plan Your Road Trips (and Breaks)

There are many hazards on the open summer road that can hit you in the wallet – both with refilling at the pump and with accidents. Warmer weather means more of everything: more cars, motorcycles, bicycles, and pedestrians on the road, more construction, and more heat – which can cause tire blowouts, distracted/drowsy driving, and more. Plan around peak road hours, take plenty of breaks to keep you sharp and practice defensive driving.

Learn more about common summer road hazards in this blog.

Getting the most out of your car, including saving money, isn’t limited to better gas mileage. A better auto insurance policy, including bundled insurance, can save money and give better peace of mind. Contact one of our experts at the TJ Woods Insurance Agency for all of your questions regarding auto insurance and other policies. Have a great summer!