When gas prices are high, it’s important to do everything you can to stretch each gallon as far as it will go.
One way to do that is to drive the speed limit. You may have heard that driving slower saves gas money, and that’s true, but did you know by how much?
In this blog post, we will discuss how to save money on gas and offer some tips on what you can do besides just driving the speed limit.
What Factors Affect Your Driving Speed?
When you’re driving there are a ton of factors that affect how you measure the right speed for saving money on gas.
For one, your car is using gas for more than just making it move – things like the air conditioner, the stereo, and even charging your phone all use gas. So if you’re trying to save, you might want to turn off some of these features.
Another factor is the weight of your car. A heavier car will naturally use more gas than a lighter one. This is why smaller cars tend to get better gas mileage.
Wind resistance is also a factor. The higher speeds you end up going, the more resistance ends up building up. The engine needs to work harder to get the car moving and will end up consuming more gas.
Consider the amount of air in your tires as you’re rolling down the highway because that will also have an effect. If your tires are low on air, they’ll create more resistance and use up more gas.
What’s the Best Driving Speed to Save You on Gas Money?
The most optimal driving speed is 55-65 mph for most cars. This accounts for all the factors mentioned above while still providing the most bang for your buck.
The best research that exists is from a 2013 study from the Oak Ridge National Laboratory where they tested multiple cars for their speed efficiency.
The results conclude that faster speeds have a correlation with higher fuel consumption. In fact, every five mph you drive over 50 is like paying an additional $0.15 per gallon for gas.
So if you’re driving a car that gets 30 mpg and gas costs $0.30/gallon, then driving 55 mph will use up to about $0.60 worth of gas to travel one mile. But if you drive 70 mph, you’ll use $0.75 of gas per mile – that’s 25% more!
Of course, this all depends on the car you’re driving and how well it’s maintained. Newer cars with better aerodynamics will do better at higher speeds than an older car that isn’t as aerodynamic.
But in general, the slower you drive, the less gas you’ll use. And if you want to save money on gas, driving the speed limit is a great place to start.
Tips on How to Save On Gas
If you are trying to get a little more mileage out of your vehicle then follow these tips to save a little more money on gas.
Avoid Hard Accelerations
The more energy your car has to exert, the more gas it will burn. When you are going from a stopping point to a starting point you need to ease into the acceleration instead of flooring it.
The same can be said for highways when you are trying to pass a car. When you slam on the gas to go around another car you will expend more gas than if you cruise at the same speed.
Get Regular Maintenance
A well-tuned engine will run more efficiently and use less gas than one that hasn’t been tuned in a while.
That’s because the entire system is running smoothly and doesn’t take as much gas in order to function.
You should get an oil change every few months and bring your car in for a tune-up at least once a year. This will keep your engine running smoothly and help you save money on gas.
Check Your Tires
When your tires are properly inflated they create less friction which means your car doesn’t have to work as hard to move forward.
You can find the right tire pressure for your car in the owner’s manual or on a placard inside the driver’s door.
Make sure to check your tires regularly and inflate them as needed. This simple task can help you save a few bucks at the pump.
So, Can You Save Gas Money With Driving Speed?
It’s possible to hit a perfect driving speed to eke out every last mile from a gallon of gas. But unless you’re driving a very fuel-efficient car, the savings probably won’t be worth your time. A more practical way to save money on gas is to avoid hard accelerations, get regular maintenance and check your tires regularly. By following these simple tips, you can improve your gas mileage and save money without changing your driving habits.
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