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Maximize your fuel efficiency on summer road trips with these simple tips

Making slight changes to your driving habits and keeping up with regular car maintenance can help ensure a safe and affordable road trip season.

As summer approaches and the anticipation of road trips and cottage getaways builds, CAA South Central Ontario (CAA SCO) has compiled a list of invaluable tips to help motorists make the most of their fuel efficiency amidst rising gas prices and the increasing cost of living.

Recognizing the desire of Ontarians to hit the open road and embark on exciting adventures with loved ones during the summer months, Nadia Matos, Manager of External Communications at CAA SCO, highlights the importance of fuel economy. "While high gas prices may have made motorists more mindful of their fuel consumption, fortunately, the simplest and most effective way to improve fuel economy lies in modifying your driving habits," she states.


To maximize fuel efficiency on summer road trips, consider incorporating the following tips:

  1. Plan your route: Optimize your journey by planning the most efficient route to your destination, avoiding backtracking and unnecessary mileage.

  2. Remove unnecessary items: Every extra 100 pounds in your vehicle can decrease fuel economy by up to 1%. Additionally, try to refrain from using rooftop luggage carriers, as they significantly increase aerodynamic drag and diminish fuel efficiency.

  3. Control your speed: Fuel consumption starts to rise significantly when driving at speeds above 90 km/h. To conserve fuel on long stretches of road, utilize cruise control to maintain a steady speed.

  4. Drive conservatively: In heavy traffic situations, avoid sudden accelerations, "jack rabbit" starts, and hard braking. These driving behaviours can reduce fuel economy by 15 to 30% on highways and 10 to 40% in stop-and-go traffic.

  5. Regular maintenance: Keep up with routine car maintenance, including maintaining proper tire pressure. Underinflated tires can increase fuel consumption by up to 4%. By ensuring your vehicle is in optimal condition, you can enhance its overall efficiency.

In addition to these fuel-saving measures, CAA members can enjoy savings at the pump. By loading their membership card in the Shell app or utilizing it directly at the pump, members can save 3 cents per liter, providing an added incentive to keep fuel costs in check.

While being mindful of fuel economy is crucial for a budget-friendly road trip, it's equally essential to consider the condition of your vehicle's battery. Matos emphasizes the impact of extreme heat on car batteries during Ontario summers.

"Car batteries can lose their charge 33% faster in scorching heat compared to the frigid winter, compromising the power needed to start the vehicle," she cautions. To ensure a smooth journey, Matos advises having your car battery professionally tested before setting off on your next road trip.

For CAA members, help is just a phone call away. By dialing *222, members can access CAA's Mobile Battery Service, where a knowledgeable Battery Service Representative will come to their location to test, replace, and properly dispose of old batteries, providing peace of mind and ensuring a worry-free summer adventure.

As you gear up for an unforgettable summer filled with exploration and cherished memories, these expert tips will enable you to make the most of your fuel, allowing you to focus on the joy of the journey while keeping costs under control.