Coast to coast, drivers are getting a harsh lesson in how geopolitical events and a war halfway round the world can have a direct impact on their wallets. With gas prices at record highs, Consumer Reports has some easy ways to maximize fuel economy by changing how you drive.
Gas stations well off major highways and away from city centers tend to have better prices, as do warehouse stores and some major travel centers.
Apps and websites like GasBuddy, Gas Guru, and Waze can help with real-time prices at nearby gas stations.
Before you hit the road, check your tire pressure. Underinflated tires affect fuel economy, along with performance and handling. If you’re not sure of the proper tire pressure, check the sticker in the doorjamb.
And if you have a roof rack, especially an empty one, consider removing it because it cuts down on the aerodynamics of your car, which wastes gas.
And did you know your driving habits can help or hurt your fuel economy? The harder you accelerate, the more fuel you use. The goal should be to drive evenly and anticipate the movement of traffic while obeying the speed limit. Smooth acceleration, cornering, and braking help extend the life of the engine, transmission, brakes, and tires.
While your car’s heater won’t have an impact fuel economy, the air conditioner will. So when the weather is nice, roll down the windows and enjoy the breeze.
And if you’re in the market for a more fuel-efficient car, we’ve got a list of vehicles on our website.