Summer is about a week away and many Ontarians are gearing up for cottage getaways and local road trips. But with inflation impacting gas prices and the overall cost of living, CAA South Central Ontario (CAA SCO) has compiled a list of the simple ways motorists can maximize their fuel economy.
“While Ontarians love getting out on the road and exploring with friends and family during the summer months, high gas prices have made motorists more mindful of their fuel economy,” says Nadia Matos, manager external communications, CAA SCO. “Luckily, the easiest and most effective way to improve the fuel economy of any car is to modify your driving habits.”
Motorists can maximize their fuel economy as they hit the road this summer by incorporating the following tips:
- Plan your route. Plan the most efficient route to your destination and avoid backtracking and unnecessary mileage.
- Remove unnecessary items from your vehicle. An extra 100 pounds can reduce fuel economy up to 1 percent. Try to also avoid the use of rooftop luggage carriers as items transported on top of the car significantly increase aerodynamic drag, which reduces fuel economy.
- Control your speed. Fuel consumption starts to increase when you hit 90km/h. For long stretches of road ahead, use cruise control to maintain your speed to save fuel.
- Drive conservatively. If you find yourself stuck in long weekend traffic, avoid “jack rabbit” starts, rapid acceleration and hard braking, which can lower fuel economy by 15 to 30 percent at highway speeds and 10 to 40 percent in stop-and-go traffic.
- Keep up with regular car maintenance. Underinflated tires increase fuel consumption by up to four percent. With regular maintenance services you can help your vehicle run more efficiently.
Savings can also start while fueling up, as CAA members save 3 cents per litre when they load their membership card in the Shell app or use it at the pump.
While keeping fuel economy top of mind can help make your next road trip more affordable, you won’t be able to get much far with a dead battery.
“Ontario summers may be short, but they are mighty. A car battery can lose its charge 33 per cent faster in extreme heat compared to the frigid winter, draining the power necessary to start the car,” says Matos. “The one thing you shouldn’t skip when preparing your car for your next road trip is having your car battery tested by a professional to ensure it is in good condition.”
If you are a CAA member you can call CAA’s Mobile Battery Service at *222 and a trained CAA Battery Service Representative will come to you to test, replace and dispose of your old battery.