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How to Save Fuel in Hot Weather

by on Jun.19, 2014

You can save fuel driving in summer - if your're careful. Photo courtesy: DenverExpressCare.

It was a long, cold winter for much of the U.S., and if you live in one of those Snowbelt states you might have noticed that your fuel bills rose whenever the mercury sank, your car working longer and harder to get both the engine and passenger compartment up to temperature. The good news is that hot weather actually can reduce your fuel consumption – at least if you follow some basic tips.

While your engine warms up faster – requiring less fuel – you need to think about ways to keep the passenger compartment cool without putting the air conditioning on at full blast, cautions the Department of Energy (DoE) and other automotive experts.

Helpful Tips!

“Under very hot conditions, AC can reduce a conventional vehicle’s fuel economy by more than 25%,” notes new guidelines posted on And the impact of running your air conditioning in a hybrid, plug-in or battery-electric vehicle “can be even larger on a percentage basis,” it notes.


An Eco-Driving Primer

Squeezing every mile out of a gallon.

by on Apr.22, 2009

It doesn't take much work to save several mpg and turn yourself into an Eco-Driver.

It doesn't take much work to save several mpg and turn yourself into an Eco-Driver.

It’s not easy getting 30 mpg.  Especially not if you’re driving the new 2010 Toyota Prius, which is rated at a combined 50 miles to the gallon.  But with my afternoon driving partner, that’s precisely what we set out to do, breaking just about every rule you could think of to ensure poor mileage.

In other words, we drove the way many folks do every single day, racing up to stoplights, then slamming on the brakes, revving the engines while we waited.  We used every opportunity to pass, tailgated almost constantly and launched off each light with the accelerator pedal pressed flat to the floor.

Even that yielded what most folks would consider great fuel economy in the Prius – but we got only a little more than half what the hybrid-electric vehicle was rated to deliver.  Several colleagues, driving with the intent to maximize their mileage, on the other hand, turned in fuel economy numbers of more than 70 mpg, at the end of the afternoon.

Subscribe to TheDetroitBureau.comEvery car is rated by the federal government as to what mileage you can expect, both in the city and on the highway.  Changes to the testing process, in 2008, made the Munroney sticker, on the side of each new vehicle, more accurate than ever.  Even so, as they say, “mileage may vary.”  All sorts of factors can come into play: the fuel you use, traffic conditions, even the altitude you live at.  But the most important factor of all is you, the driver.

Even the most mild-mannered motorist can pick up a few miles a gallon by learning some basic eco-driving tips.  And for more aggressive drivers – notice me raising my own hand – the impact can be as much as 30 to 40 percent or more.