After a long period of low gas prices we haven’t seen since the 1990s, gas prices are starting to rise again, just in time for the fuel-sapping heat of summer. Here are some helpful tips on saving fuel in summer to keep you out of gas-related debt on your road trip vacation.
Summer is hard on fuel use because it’s hot, and you want to use your air conditioning a lot or have the windows rolled down. Both of these things affect fuel economy—AC uses more energy, and rolling the windows down increases drag, which uses more gas.
To minimize how hard your AC has to work, it’s also a good idea to keep your car as cool as possible. Park in the shade or in a garage when you can, leave the windows down so air can cycle through, and roll them down for a few minutes before turning on the AC so the car has time to cool off.
Otherwise, follow the usual fuel-saving rules: don’t go too fast, coast to a stop, and lay off the brake.
It’s not too hard to replace a car battery – much easier than you think! So if you don’t want to spend the money on a maintenance trip but your battery is shot, you should be able to do this at home by following these simple steps.
Always let your vehicle cool off before you start working under the hood or you might burn yourself. Once the vehicle is cool, find the battery and start by disconnecting the black (negative) battery cable from the battery using a wrench or, preferably, a tool designed for the job like a battery wrench. Be very careful not to let metal touch the battery posts.
Next disconnect the red (positive) cable. There will be a clamp holding the battery in place; remove it and place any loose parts in a secure spot where they won’t get lost. Now, pull the battery out, being careful not to wiggle it too much and hit the sides.
Put the new battery in its place and secure it again with the clamp. Clean it off, remove the caps on the posts, and then apply dielectric grease and put anti-corrosion washers on the posts. Reconnect the cables, starting with the positive.