As the summer travel season rolls in, prices at the gas pump are usually going in the wrong direction for our wallets. That’s when drivers become more concerned about how to squeeze the most miles from their fuel dollars whilst keeping their cars running their very best.
To help you continue in the know, here are some common questions which our auto experts often get asked about fuel useage and related topics:
What’s the best way to cut fuel costs?
Slow down. Within our tests, we’ve found that driving faster on the highway can really go on a bite out of your car’s fuel efficiency. We measured gasoline consumption while driving at a steady65 and 55, and 75 mph in a Honda Accord, Toyota RAV4, and three versions of a Ford Fusion, including a hybrid. The drop in fuel economy while going from 55 to 65 rangedfrom 4 to 8 mpg. Upping the pace from 65 to 75 cut it 5 to 7 mpg more. Overall, accelerating from 55 mph to 75 is much like moving coming from a compact car to a large SUV.
Can you imagine if I need to carry stuff in my car’s roof?
Carrying things on the roof increases aerodynamic drag, which hurts fuel economy. When we tested a ? 2013 Honda ? Accord at the steady 65 mph, it got 42 mpg with nothing on the roof. Adding even an empty bike rack dropped the mileage by 5 mpg, to 37. A wind deflector reduced the wind noise but cut gas mileage to 35 mpg. Together with two bikes on the rack, gas mileage dropped to 27 mpg, a whopping 15-mpg difference overall. Similarly, whenever we tested a ? 2008 Camry with a large car-top carrier, fuel economy dropped by 5 mpg.
Does running the A/C hurt fuel economy compared with opening the windows?
It depends on how hard the air-conditioning system has to work. When we measured the fuel-economy difference in a ? 2008 Ford Focus, Honda ? Accord, and Subaru Forester, we found out that fuel use with the ? A/C running increased with higher outside temperatures. ? At 55° F, there were negligible differences. But when we measured again on days when the temperature was in the low 70s and high 80s, we got fewer miles per gallon using the ? A/C on. In general, expect 1 to 4 mpg less with air conditioning.