Four tips to save gasoline this summer

Summer's in full swing, in case you hadn't noticed. Time for that road trip. But with the price of gasoline nationwide still hovering around $3 a gallon, it makes sense to make every drop count. Below are four simple tips to maximize your gasoline savings this summer:

Turn off your air conditioner
Consumer Reports found that driving 65 MPH in a Honda Accord with the air conditioner running reduced mileage by 3%. But turning off your air conditioner and driving instead with the windows down is controversial, with some saying the drag on the car's aerodynamics cuts down on fuel efficiency and others saying no problem. The Consumer Reports team didn't find any measurable difference in fuel efficiency driving with the windows down, but others have. The jury is still out.

If you're hot, or your car is older, just roll down your windows already. Give your car a break and be kind to the environment.

This tip might not be realistic if you live in desert areas like Las Vegas or Phoenix. Still, you can help keep your car cool by parking in the shade, and using a windshield light reflector when parked.

Stop driving like a maniac and keep to the speed limit
Although it's tempting to speed, the urge will end up costing you. Besides breaking the law if you go over the speed limit, (and a couple of $200 speeding tickets will not help your wallet any this summer) driving aggressively will lower your gas mileage by 33% on the highway and by at least 5% on surface streets. An independent test found this one tip resulted in more savings than any of them. The lesson? Try to drive zen. You'll get where you're going, we promise.

Keep your tires properly inflated
According to the Dept. of Energy, you can improve your gas mileage by keeping your tires properly inflated. Check your owner's manual for your optimal tire pressure level, and check your tires at least once a month with a tire gauge.

Fill up your tank intelligently:
You'll save time and money if you keep your gas tank filled in an efficient manner. Try to get to a filling station when your tank hits a quarter of a tank. WalletPop hooks you up on ways to find the cheapest gas for your summer road trips.

Safe and frugal motoring!

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