Whether you're driving across the country on your annual family road trip or taking a weekend to enjoy the open road, there are plenty of ways to save on the cost of fuel. Here are some easy tips that will help you save money at the pump and stretch the fuel in your gas tank.
- Prepare your vehicle. Regular service can spot problems that reduce gas mileage, such as a broken thermostat, low transmission fluid or even something as simple as a dirty air filter.
- Prepare yourself. Select a route ahead of time and study it to know exactly where you're going, and where you'll make stops.
- Take advantage of a rewards program to lower your fuel expense.
- Drive sensibly. Aggressive driving - speeding, rapid acceleration and quick braking - wastes gas and can lower your gas mileage by 33 percent at highway speeds, according to the U.S. Department of Energy. Use cruise control to stick to the speed limit on long, straight highways.
- Avoid the heat. When possible, try to get on the road early in the morning or later in the evening as cooler temperatures set in. Not only will it help you save on air-conditioning expenses, but air that is cooler is denser and can actually increase power and mileage.