Tips for conserving gas in the heat

Published: Jun. 13, 2022 at 9:47 PM EDT
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NASHVILLE, Tenn. (WSMV) - It’s something a lot of people do when you’re driving in the heat, you switch on the AC or your roll down your window.

However, one local mechanic said both of these things will eat up gas and many people don’t know what can actually save their tank of gas.

This will be the second time Barb Schroeder has filled up her tank in the last three weeks.

“To tell you the truth, I don’t drive that much anymore. I just make short trips to the grocery store,” Schroeder said.

Soaring gas prices are keeping her off the road and now record high temperatures are making matters worse.

“We’ve got the AC set on 74 while we’ve been out driving, and it’s been pretty comfortable so hopefully it doesn’t burn off too much gas,” Schroeder said.

While many people may know that running a car’s AC system consumes more gas, mechanics said there are misconceptions about how to save it.

“Contrary to some rumors or myths, it doesn’t matter where you have the temperature setting on, if you have the air conditioning on and the compressor is running, it’s hitting the gas tank,” mechanic David Drake said.

Some tips for conserving gas when driving your car during extreme hot weather.

Whether the AC setting is at 60 or 75, Drake said you use the same amount of gas.

“If you are using the air conditioner, don’t be afraid to turn it all the way down to cool,” Drake said.

For those rolling down their window in hopes of saving more gas, Drake said that’s not what’s happening.

“When we roll the windows down it kind of takes the drag coefficient out of the equation, so any time there is wind resistance against the car at higher speeds, it definitely causes the engine to have to work harder and use more gasoline to be able to keep up with that drag,” Drake said.

To save on gas and stay cool, Drake said first roll your windows down.

“Let some of that hot air escape four about a minute or so and then roll all the windows up, turn the air conditioning on max AC, and what Max AC does, instead of pulling fresh air from outside of the vehicle, it actually recirculates the air from inside the vehicle,” Drake said.

Conserving gas and saving your wallet is something Schroeder said she plans on doing.

“You do what you have to do,” she said.

Mechanics said that getting your car serviced, airing it out and using max AC are the best ways you’ll save money and stay cool this summer.

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