Summer is finally here and that means you probably have plenty of road trips in your future.
Gas prices are still down from what they were last year but you may feel like you’re constantly filling up the tank.
While you can’t control the price at the pump, you can control how far you go on a gallon of gasoline.
Consumer Reports testers used the fuel meter to put several cars through their paces at 55 miles per hour, 65 miles per hour and 75 miles per hour.
Jake Fisher, with Consumer Reports, said, “It may not be surprising that when you drive faster you use more fuel. You may be surprised about how much fuel you actually use.”
Organizers tested the 4-cylinder Honda Accord LX at 55 miles per hour and found that it made 50 miles per gallon.
When going just 10 miles per hour more, that number dropped to 42 miles per gallon.
The miles per gallon dropped even further to 36 miles per gallon when testers pushed the car to 75 miles per hour.
Fisher said, “We also tested the Toyota RAV4 and three versions of the Ford Fusion, including the hybrid. And we found similar results with all of them.”
Loading your car for road trips also cuts your fuel efficiency.
When testers put a bike rack on the Honda Accord and drove 65 miles per hour, fuel efficiency dropped to 37 miles per gallon.
If you add a wind deflector, it drops to 35 miles per gallon.
Fisher said, “So, if you’re not using your bike rack, take it off because it really is going to hurt your fuel efficiency.”
A rooftop luggage carrier can also cut your fuel efficiency.
Consumer Reports says you can lose up to 6 miles per gallon with one of those on top of your car.
Also, make sure your tire pressure is right for summertime temperatures.