Save Gas & Fuel : Plan Trips for Better MPGs

An easy way to cut costs, save money planning your trips to save MPGs. It may sound a little weird, but it's true. There's several ways that your trip planning affects your overall fuel efficiency and your used car's MPGs. Because of a little thing called "closed loop" operation, and a few other important factors, planning your trips the right way could be the most effective way to save on gas. Your car will be more efficient if you drive farther before your first stop, and avoid congested areas.

Combine Trips

This is the best way to pump up your MPGs without draining your wallet. Combine smaller trips into one large trip. It's something many of us already do, but worth mentioning. Combining trips saves gas because your car runs more efficiently after a certain point, when the engine warms up to the maximum operating temperature, and acheives what is called a "closed loop operation." This is the point at which the engine temperature allows the engine to function at the optimum performance level.

Go to Your Farthest Distance First, Then Stop at Other Destinations on the Way Home

Stopping several times allows your car engine to cool down below the point of the closed loop. This means your car has to warm back up to this temperature in order to acheive maximum fuel efficiency. To avoid this, drive to your farthest distance first, allowing your engine to warm up, then stop at your other destinations on your way home. Your engine will stay warm while you are at your first destination, and take less time to reach the closed loop point when you continue on to your next stop.

Avoid Congested Areas for Better MPGs

Don't drive through town if you don't have to. Even if you need to go a few miles out of your way to avoid sitting in traffic, it is worth doing. If you sit in traffic for too long, you will simply burn off fuel without going anywhere. Even though you will consume more gas on the higway, your car will get better mileage than it would sitting at a stop light.

Carpool or Ride Share Whenever Possible and Cut Fuel Costs in Half

Even if it is a simple trip to the store, go with a friend, or a neighbor. It is the best way to cut down on gas costs. If you are going to the store, ask a friend to come along and share the gas expense, or offer a ride for free. They will be more apt to return the favor the next week. Carpooling is probably the most efficient way to save on fuel costs, and it saves you from worrying about your car's MPGs.