The end of summer will be here before we know it. I hope you all enjoyed this season with its warm weather, beautiful, long leisurely days and all that glorious extra time to spend with friends and family. And, this year, there’s an added appreciation for the joy of being together again after all the cautious separation we practiced during the pandemic.
It’s also the season that so many of us embark on the beloved road trip, a summer tradition that most folks won’t miss, even in the face of inflation. That’s right, as we all know, this year, gas prices are very high. Yet, the AAA says over the July 4th holiday weekend about 50 million people traveled 50 miles or more from home. Since all roads lead to time in the car, we thought we’d offer some tips for saving gas and getting the most out of your vehicle.
Keep it Clean
High summer temperatures, dirt, dust and dry wind all take a toll on your car. It’s said that debris and dirt on your car create a rougher surface for the outside air to flow around. According to Motor Biscuit a dirty car’s buildup has more resistance when driving, which becomes greater the faster you drive it. On the contrary, a clean car with a smoother outside surface allows air to flow around providing better aerodynamics.
Keep your car clean inside and out but resist the temptation to wash it at home. As we’ve said before, it takes about 100 gallons of water to do it at home. At Bliss, we only use about 24 gallons per wash and our system saves 55 gallons of water, per car, by recycling it.
Also, washing your car at home means that soap, contaminants, and chemicals run into the local storm drains, unfiltered. The runoff then pollutes waterways. Our reclamation system at Bliss captures soapy water in floor drains as it runs off cars and puts it through a filtration tank that removes chemicals and contaminants that have been washed off the cars. The water is then recycled.
Combine trips as much as possible. It’s not efficient to do errands by car and then later in the day run out to the supermarket using the same roads. First, starting the engine uses a significant amount of gasoline. According to fueleconomy.gov, “Several short trips taken from a cold start can use twice as much fuel as a longer, multipurpose trip covering the same distance.”
At Bliss, we have gas stations adjacent to at all of our car washes as well as convenient stores so it’s a great one-stop-shop solution to fill up your tank, wash your car and grab some essentials needed to avoid another trip somewhere else. Saving time, reducing fuel consumption, and lowering climate impact are a great result. Also, staying local is another great way to reduce your driving miles.
Many people don’t know that driving style affects fuel consumption. Speeding and stopping and then quickly accelerating increases gas consumption while maintaining a consistent speed can help you go farther on a tankful. A vehicle’s fuel economy peaks at around 50 mph in most cars, and drops off with increased speed. If you lower your speeds on the highway by 5 or 10 miles-per-hour you can increase your fuel economy by 7 to 14 percent.
Rapid acceleration and hard braking also lower fuel economy by 15 to 30 percent at highway speeds and 10 to 40 percent in stop-and-go traffic.
When idling your engine your car consumes one-quarter to one-half gallon of fuel per hour, but a warmed engine only takes 10 seconds worth of fuel to restart. It’s best to shut off your engine if you will be stopped for more than a minute.
Keeping all these tips in mind is easy and becomes habit after a while. A clean car makes its owner happier and ultimately saves time and money.