April 27, 2004
Common Sense on: Summer Savings at the PumpWith the summer driving season soon beginning, Iowans will take to the highways for family vacations, picnics, reunions and all those summer activities we enjoy. Unfortunately, we often see higher gas prices during the travel season. This summer, as you head for the open road, please remember a few easy tips that can reduce your gasoline usage and save you money.
1. Make sure your car’s engine is in top working condition and that your filters are clean. Regular maintenance will improve the performance of your vehicle.
2. Check that your tires are properly inflated. This not only improves gas mileage, but helps keeps you and your fellow travelers safe.
3. Try to combine all your errands into one trip. The fewer times on the road, the less gas you use.
4. Try to pack as lightly as possible and avoid putting items on the roof when traveling longer distances. Wind resistance and weight both contribute to decreased gas mileage.
5. Leave plenty of time to reach your destination. For every mile per hour over 60 mph, the Department of Energy estimates you will pay an extra 10 cents per gallon.
6. Use cruise control if your car has it. By maintaining a constant (and slower) speed, you can increase your gas mileage and save money.
7. And finally, if you do not have to drive…don’t. If you can walk, bike or take public transportation, you will save money and improve your health as well.
Despite the high gas prices, you and your family can still enjoy summer activities. Thinking ahead and creative planning will allow you to do what you want without breaking the bank.