Turn on the AC! Fuel-Saving Tips for Summer Driving
Want to save fuel on those long summer highway drives? Close the windows and turn the air conditioning on.
That’s just one of the useful — and frequently surprising — tips available from fueleconomy.gov, the go-to website for information on fuel economy.
While running the air conditioning does increase fuel consumption, it’s more efficient than driving with the windows open at highway speeds. The open windows increase the car’s aerodynamic drag, and that makes the engine work harder, according to the site.
Other EPA-approved fuel-savers:
∎ Park in the shade so your car doesn’t get as hot.
∎ Leave the windows open when you first start driving to clear hot air out of the cabin.
∎ If you’ve got a plug-in hybrid, pre-cool the car while it’s still plugged in. That uses power from the electric grid, not your car’s engine.
∎ If you want to know how much more money you spend when you speed up, the website can calculate that, too.
∎ Driving a 2015 four-cylinder Toyota Camry at 80 mph will cost $1.49 more per 100 miles than 70 mph for instance.
To calculate the cost for your vehicle at varying speeds, go to: http://www.fueleconomy.gov/feg/driveHabits.jsp.