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Many road trip enthusiasts worry about the cost of gas. This, however, doesn’t have to be the case since there are various ways of improving your gas mileage while on a road trip. To monitor your fuel expenditure, you may want to use a gas trip calculator. This method is better than the idea of memorizing the odometer reading or even rebooting the mileage counter every time you refuel.
How to Work with a Gas Trip Calculator
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When you’re going on a road trip, you want to make proper preparations. Calculating the cost of gas per trip is an ideal way of budgeting for your travel expenses. You can do so manually or with the help of a road trip cost calculator. To achieve this, you will need to understand the basics of your car. If you’re doing it manually, you’ll need to:
Calculate Miles per Gallon
Fill up the gas tank and configure your trip odometer button to zero. Drive normally until you need to refuel your car. Note down the trip odometer reading to find out the total number of miles you’ve covered. Still, you can write down the odometer reading when you refuel at first and again when you refuel. Use the difference to get miles you’ll have covered. Divide the result by the number of fuel gallons you’ve used on the second refueling to get the total miles per gallon.
Calculate the Trip Distance
While on a road trip, you may want to take a glance at Google Maps or other resources on your phone to establish the distance of the journey in miles. Use this time to pick your route as well. Check the traffic hotspots you’ll need to avoid and think about the detours and sights you’ll want to incorporate in the trip.
A trip calculator enables you to estimate how much gas you need based on the speed and distance you intend to travel. This comes in handy when planning a long trip because you can compare routes.
How can you Improve Gas Mileage using a trip calculator?
There are various ways of doing so which include; using public transport, carpooling, using a bicycle, or even walking. These are some of the best options for you if you are looking for the most effective fuel efficiency. Assuming these methods aren’t viable for you, try the following tips to maximize fuel efficiency.
Use a Fuel Efficient Vehicle
Are you looking to compare the fuel efficiency between various vehicles? If you do, you may want to visit gas buddy. The platform allows you to analyze a wide variety of vehicles before choosing the one that best fits your needs. Generally, four-wheel-drive vehicles are less fuel-efficient compared to right wheel drives or front-wheel drives. When it comes to four-wheel drives, the engine requires more power to move the vehicle at an identical speed when driving at high speeds.
Use well-Inflated Tires
Under-inflated tires reduce your gas mileage by 0.3% per PSI drop as a result of wasteful energy transfer dissolving in the squishiness of the under-deflated tires. Tire rigidity facilitates greater frictional interaction between the road and the rubber and this transmits forward momentum. You may want to check the driver’s manual or the tire’s side markings to establish the optimal PSI range. You can access a driver’s manual online. You also need to make sure that the wheels are properly aligned.
Maintain a 90km/h Speed
According to studies conducted by the U.S. Department of energy, driving at 90km/h or 55 mph is ideal. However, this can vary depending on the vehicle make or model. For instance; a Toyota Prius will be different from a Lamborghini Aventador.
Where possible, utilize cruise control such as on rural, long, and straight highways. Studies suggest that cruise control can facilitate the maintenance of constant speeds, a concept that prevents unwarranted deceleration and acceleration which can hinder fuel efficiency.
How does Speed Affect Fuel Efficiency?
Many times and in many vehicles makes and models, an increase of speed from 55mph will make it efficient to a certain percentage as seen below.
- At 60 MPH, or 97 km/h, the vehicle becomes less efficient by 3%
- At 65 MPH or 105 km/h, the vehicle becomes less efficient by 8%
- At 70 MPH or 113 km/h, the vehicle becomes less efficient by 17%
- At 80 MPH or 129 km/h, the vehicle becomes less efficient by 28%
Consistency and steadiness are critical factors in terms of promoting fuel efficiency. Accelerating aggressively agitates the engine harder and in the process siphons more oil. Ensure that your foot is gentle. This is because steady acceleration is more energy-efficient, safer, and reduces the vehicle’s depreciation.
Remember, breaking aggressively can have an impact on fuel consumption. This is because radical drops in speed trigger radical increases in speed and cause drastic wear and tear on brakes. Sticking to these standards enhances gas mileage by between 10% to 40% in stop and go traffic and 15% to 30% at highway speeds.
Adopt Proper Vehicle Maintenance Practices
You can enhance your gas mileage by between 1% and 2% through the use of the ideal motor oil. If the driver’s manual recommends 10W-30, stick to that. Ensure the engine is properly tuned, address any flopped emissions test immediately, and make sure the oxygen sensor is in proper shape. Further, conduct a monthly inspection of the air filters to make sure they aren’t clogged. Many times, debris can get sucked in the air filters, blocking adequate airflow in the engine.
Why is this step important? Because a trip calculator app works on the assumption that your vehicle is in perfect condition.
Do away with Unnecessary Weight
According to principles in physics, a heavier object will require more energy to move. If you’re looking to get the ultimate energy efficiency, you may want to drive a smaller and lighter car. Still, you can consider removing unnecessary things that add up weight in your car. For instance, if you have a huge subwoofer inside your vehicle that’s non-operational, consider removing it. Remember, pulling a trailer at the back of your vehicle every day affects fuel efficiency.
Roll up Your Windows
Here’s a proven tip that you won’t find in your gas trip calculator app.
Open car windows add more resistance to moving vehicles. Since driving along the highway involves high speeds huge load in the form of drag. This propels against the forward momentum of a moving car, making the engine work harder to maintain the same speed.
Often, highway driving is more fuel saving when the windows are closed to prevent drag whether the AC is on or not. It’s worth noting that drag, also known as wind resistance doesn’t only apply to open windows. A bike or roof rack makes the vehicle heavier and hinders incoming air to move through a forward-moving vehicle.
Fuel efficiency is affected more during hot weather due to the separation of oil needed to power air conditioning in all the vehicle cabins. Fuel efficiency drops by 25% during the hot climate as a result of AC usage. Consider having the AC at moderate levels more so when the vehicle is on idling mode. Remember, AC systems facilitate fuel efficiency when the car is moving.
Get a Gas Trip Calculator today!
If you are looking to save fuel consumption in your next road trip, consider having a trip calculator. It‘ll help you keep a tab on your fuel consumption. Further, adopt the tips and tricks included here to enhance your fuel efficiency and save some money.