For kids, summer is all about the quest for fun before school starts back again. For drivers, summer driving can be about enjoying the best mileage you're going to get all year. The convergence of summer blend gas (with its lower volatility), the warm summer air creating less drag on your vehicle, and shorter warmup period for vehicles means your gas dollar goes farther in the summer than it's ever going to go.
By the way, if you want to maximize your summer driving fun, have you seen our Guide To Great Summer Road Trips? We did a blog on that last month, but in case you missed it, grab your copy of it here.
Back to the issue at hand....more MPG. Here's some tips for your best gas mileage this summer. We've mentioned some of these in previous blogs, but it's always good to be reminded.
Check Your Oxygen Sensors
Oxygen sensors are vital to helping the car's computer maintaine the best fuel-air mixture for performance and emissions. Since your car is probably later than a mid-90s model, if it has over 100,000 miles, now would be the time to replace them to keep the car running as efficiently as possible.
Check Your Gas Cap
People don't think about their gas cap, but improperly fitting gas caps (or not tightening the cap properly after a fillup) are responsible for literally millions of gallons of gas going up in vapor every year across the country. You pay enough for gas that you don't want any of it going to waste. Replace your gas cap if it is cracked. You could save 1-2% in gas mileage.
No More Junk In The Trunk
In our very first blog ever published here, we talked about taking out unnecessary items from the trunk that could be weighing your car down and burning extra gas. For every 100 pounds of extra weight in the trunk, you lose 2% of your gas mileage. So go reclaim that.
Have The Right Tires & Keep Them Inflated Properly
Another big one for gas mileage. Having over-sized tires or high performance tires will definitely rob your gas mileage. And keeping them properly inflated will save you up to 3% in gas mileage. Check the inside of your door jam for the manufacturer's recommendation for tire pressure. And remember to check pressure when it's cold, not hot.
So a few percent here combined with another three percent here and there, all of that can add up to big savings and more MPG. Especially on your next summer road trip.
It's been mentioned about replacing air filters to boost your gas mileage. Turns out that if you have a modern fuel-injected car, the benefit of a clean air filter isn't really for more MPG, it's for better driving performance. So go ahead and change your air filter if it's dirty.
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This post was published on August 20, 2013 and was updated on May 1, 2019.