Save money on your next summer road trip by minimizing how much you spend on fuel. There are a number of ways to ensure that you're getting the best mileage with your vehicle, including how you drive, what you pack and how well your vehicle is maintained. Let's take a look at some tips.

Skip the Roof Cargo Box

It may be tempting to save space with a convenient rooftop cargo box, but it can kill your gas mileage. An SUV that gets around 25 mpg at highway speeds will only get around 22 with the addition of a roof cargo box. It's even worse on lower profile vehicles. A fuel efficient small car getting about 42 mpg on the highway will lose 22 percent of that, putting it down to 33. One alternative option that works on SUVs is to use a rear bumper cargo tray instead.

Don't Be an Aggressive Driver

Aggressive driving is often characterized by a heavy foot on the gas and then sharp braking. Tailgating other drivers and then being forced to brake suddenly loses as much as 33 percent of your mpg. It's best to keep a safe following distance and get up to speed slowly rather than all at once.

Drive At or Below the Speed Limit

2019 Ford Explorer Front

Every five miles per hour that you drive over 50 is like paying an extra 24 cents per gallon for gas. A fuel efficient small car can lose as much as 46 percent of its mpg when driving speeds of 80 mph. For an SUV, that penalty is near 40 percent. A better idea is to stay in the right lane and keep your speed as low as is safe for conditions.

Does Rolling Up Your Windows Help with Fuel Economy?

Many drivers erroneously believe that they can save gas mileage by refraining from using the AC and rolling down the windows instead. However, open windows reduce the aerodynamics of your vehicle and can cut gas mileage by close to nine percent. The drag is more pronounced for a small car vs. an SUV. Using the AC at a lower strength has little to no penalty on your MPG.

Where Can I Check My Tires?

Underinflated tires could cut your mpg by as much as 10 percent. Modern tires don't show a lack of air until they're almost completely flat, so don't count on just a visual inspection. Use a tire gauge or have one of our professionals check them, and fill up your tires to the recommended PSI.

Visit Frontier Ford to have your vehicle checked out for a summer road trip, and find out more useful tips for getting the most out of your gas tank.

Categories: Tips and Tricks