Posts tagged with ‘road trip’
Lower gas prices = vacations
Road trip? Gas won’t be your only expense
Road trips can often mean big bucks being spent on fuel, car washes and pricey snacks.
Here are five travel costs to steer clear of on those good old-fashioned road trips.
1. Exceeding speed limit lowers gas mileage: While it may feel satisfying to fly past other drivers on the interstate, your gas mileage is taking the toll. Gas mileage rapidly decreases after you hit 60 mph. Driving at a lower speed can save you as much as 33 percent on your cost to fill up at the pump.
2. Avoid expensive road food costs: Before you leave, visit your local grocery store and stock up on snacks and drinks. Storing the food in a small cooler in the back can save you a wad of cash.
3. Dodge high gas prices just off the highway: Pulling into a gas station right off the interstate may save time, but it can cost you money. Stations near the interstate may have higher prices than those at discount stores or supermarket shopping centers.
4. Do you really need premium gas? Very few cars actually benefit from premium grades of gasoline. Premium gas, which can cost up to 20 cents per gallon more than regular grade, most likely won’t increase your gas mileage or help your car perform better. Check your owner’s manual to see if premium gas is “required” or “recommended” for your car. If it’s only “recommended,” you’re probably safe using regular grade.
5. Put off costly car washes: Don’t hand over those extra few bucks for an automatic car wash. Going the self-service wash route will save you money and will allow you to clean those extra dirty spots more thoroughly.
Get your car road-trip ready
Follow this pre-trip auto checkup guide and packing list, and your road trip should be a smooth ride.
Before you go:
· Get a full safety inspection from a certified mechanic at least a week before your trip to give the repair shop enough time to take care of any issues.
· Make sure the mechanic checks everything from your car’s fluid levels, belts and hoses to lights, tires and brakes.
· Keep in mind that small maintenance and repairs now often prevent costly expenses down the road.
· Don’t wait till the last minute for a safety diagnosis. If the mechanic uncovers any big problems when you’re only hours away from taking off, it could throw a wrench into your plans … or your budget, should you decide to rent a road trip-ready car instead.
· Some safety inspections are free, but some mechanics may charge you a full hour of labor. Regardless of the cost, it’s money well spent.
· Remember the simple do-it-yourself auto maintenance procedures, such as tightening the gas cap to prevent gas from evaporating as you drive. Loose, missing or damaged gas caps cause 147 million gallons of gas to evaporate each year.
Be sure to bring:
· A copy of your car’s warranty
· Contact information for your emergency car care service
· Cell phone
· First-aid kit
· Inflated spare tire
· Jumper cables
· Blankets and gloves
· Bottled water
Have you ever had any road-trip car troubles?