Don’t let gas prices break the bank this summer. We’ve found 5 surprising ways to save on fuel.

1. Cruise Control

There is some debate on whether using cruise control actually conserves gas or not, but research leans towards yes. Edmunds conducted a study and found they got up to 14% savings on gas with an average savings of 7% when using cruise control. The exception to this rule however is driving in hilly terrain. Cruise control will try to keep you at the speed you set and will eat of lot of gas trying to do so (see #4).

2. Avoid Excessive Idling

Idling is the number one way to throw away gas without even thinking about it. According to Edmunds you can save up to 19% on fuel consumption by avoiding excessive idling. Now we aren’t suggesting you turn off your car at every stoplight. But the next time your passenger says they are going to “run in real quickly and be back in a second,” go ahead and turn off the car. That second will more than likely me a few minutes and turning your car off should save you a few bucks.

3.  Drive Steadily

Just like the cruise control rule, driving in a steady manner will save you fuel. Excessive slowing down or speeding up wastes fuel. Also, driving in a zigzag or swaying motion will eat up your fuel because you are covering more ground. Be sure to avoid tailgating. The driver in front of you is unpredictable and can affect your fuel economy if they suddenly slow down.

4. Prepare for Hills

Accelerating up a hill uses a lot of gas. Avoid this by preparing for the incline when you see the hill up ahead. As soon as you see a hill is in your path, begin to slowly build up your speed and then maintain it on the upward slope. Coast down the other side for maximum fuel conservation.

5. Plan Ahead

When driving to activities or running errands, take some time to plan ahead and try to fit as many errands as possible in one trip. Make your drive the most fuel-efficient by mapping which locations are closest to each other and avoid backtracking over the same routes. Don’t get caught wasting fuel running to the grocery store every day. Plan meals ahead of time and try to limit grocery trip to once or twice a week.

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