I feel that in all the posts I have written for this have been quite sardonic and cynical. For this blog post I’m going to just be informative rather than have an opinion. This weekend I have to go on a road trip so the first thing I thought to write about was driving. Then I drove past a gas station and saw how high prices were, which led me to think about saving gas and thus saving money.
Windows down or Air conditioning?
In Florida, 90% of the time air conditioning isn’t an option, it’s a necessity. However the air conditioning also wastes fuel. Driving with the windows down can also keep you cool, however the drag caused by the open windows puts some strain on your engine. So which one is better? It depends on how fast you are going. If you are traveling at 40 or under, the windows down is a better choice. If you are going over 40 which, lets be honest everyone does despite the speed limit, air conditioning save more fuel. This brings me to the next point.
Why does my car go up to 120 mph when the speed limit is 70? I bet that sign is only a guideline not a rule. Despite what the drivers on I 95 think, the speed limit is actually 70 mph regardless whether or not cops are watching. The speed limit isn’t just for safety, it also helps with your car’s fuel economy. While each car has a different optimal fuel economy, most car’s gas mileage will drop after 60 mph. When driving from Orlando to South Florida, I drove at 55 in the slow lane for the whole trip. While it added an extra hour to my trip, and pissed off a lot of people behind me, it saved me a quarter of a tank compared to when I drive going 80. It almost made it worth being late.
In addition to your speed, how you drive also affects your gas mileage. If you are driving slow, but constantly changing your speed you gas mileage will still suffer. Rather than speeding up and braking over and over again, try staying at a constant pace. If you stay at a constant 60 mph rather than speeding up and weaving around people, your engine does less work and thus uses less fuel. The best way to accomplish this is by using cruise control. It will keep your car going at your chosen speed and save you on gas.