How to Get the Best Fuel Economy in Hot Weather

Let’s face it: fuel prices continually bob up and down, but gas is never cheap. There are many factors that can affect how much fuel your vehicle uses, which directly affects your pocketbook. With the advent of warmer weather, there are even more expenses associated with summer vacations to the beach, hosting outdoor parties, and higher electric bills to cope with the ever-running air conditioning.

You may not, however, be aware that there is a link between hot weather and your vehicle’s fuel usage. This is due largely to using the A/C more, but rolling your windows down also has a negative effect on your vehicle’s fuel economy.

Here are some tips to keep your gas costs as low as possible as the temperature rises:

  • Change your cooling method according to your speed. No one wants to “fry” in their own sweat while driving, so simply halting your A/C use and keeping your windows rolled up tightly is not an option. You can, however, choose more wisely which cooling method to use and when. Since the drag produced from having your windows down (which, in turn, reduces fuel efficiency) is far less at low speeds than high ones, roll your windows down for leisurely drives and turn your air conditioning on when you hit the highway.

  • Put a reflective panel on your dashboard when parked. Although it may seem like a waste of time to unfold a sunshade and put it in your front window every time you stop at the grocery store, this simple act does wonders for keeping temperatures cool inside your vehicle. Parking in shade or under covered areas achieves a similar effect. This translates into far less fuel-powered cooling work for your A/C system when you return to the car.

  • Let hot air out before drawing cool air in. When you first get into your car in the summer months, crack your windows to let the stagnant, hot air out and let the temperature in the car naturally equalize with the temperature outside. Then, roll the windows back up and turn the air conditioning on. That way, the A/C doesn’t use as much gas for the initial cooling of your vehicle.

  • Be judicious with your air conditioning use in general. Even if you enjoy ice-cold temperatures, save that treat for walk-in freezers or ice baths. Honestly assess what is the warmest interior temperature you can comfortably handle, and set your air conditioning to that level. It may be warmer than you’re used to, but the gas it saves will quickly add up.

These tips may seem too simple to be effective, but incorporating them into your hot-weather driving routine can take a chunk out of your fuel bill over time. If, after using these methods, your gas costs seem unusually high and you’re driving no more than normal, an inspection with one of our mechanics can rule out problems that may be affecting your fuel efficiency beyond just the summer heat.


Next Step

Schedule Oil Change

The most popular service booked by readers of this article is Oil Change. YourMechanic’s technicians bring the dealership to you by performing this job at your home or office 7-days a week between 7AM-9PM. We currently cover over 2,000 cities and have 100k+ 5-star reviews... LEARN MORE

SEE PRICING & SCHEDULING

The statements expressed above are only for informational purposes and should be independently verified. Please see our terms of service for more details

Recent Oil Change reviews

Excellent Rating

(21,699)

Rating Summary
20,382
845
179
87
206
20,382
845
179
87
206

Matthew

33 years of experience
991 reviews
Matthew
33 years of experience
Volkswagen Passat - Oil Change - Hampton, Virginia
Matt always does a great job. Very professional. I look forward to my next appointment.... A++++++
Ford Expedition - Oil Change - Hampton, Virginia
I am so please to have Matt work on my vehicle, he is very friendly and personable, and always does a great job.

Greg

22 years of experience
37 reviews
Greg
22 years of experience
Audi A3 - Oil Change - Queen Creek, Arizona
Job well done! Greg was on time and professional. He treated my vehicle with care. He completed the job smoothly and so far so good. First time using Your mechanic and it was a pleasant experience. I will be looking into them again. Thanks Greg!
Ford Explorer - Oil Change - Scottsdale, Arizona
Greg was very friendly and professional. Communication was great, he let me know what he was doing. He went above and beyond to make sure everything was running smoothly. I would 100% recommend Greg!

LAVELL

27 years of experience
93 reviews
LAVELL
27 years of experience
Buick Encore - Oil Change - Oakland, California
Another home run! Really appreciate the flexibility regarding my service appointment. Due to my work schedule I desperately needed a late appointment. So grateful my car is receiving top shelf professional service. Replaced a oil pan drain plug that was seriously damaged and stripped by a competitor that will NEVER get my business again! All services were quickly completed. Thank you so much for another great experience with my.... Your Mechanic Lavell 5 ⭐️ Service consistently.

Brian

23 years of experience
483 reviews
Brian
23 years of experience
Porsche 911 - Oil Change - Ponte Vedra Beach, Florida
Brian is extremely knowledgeable and very personable and has taken very good care on my 911. I would recommend Brian to any one who has mechanical car challenges. I would recommend Brian to all My friends and family

Need Help With Your Car?

Our certified mobile mechanics make house calls in over 2,000 U.S. cities. Fast, free online quotes for your car repair.

GET A QUOTE

Related articles

Top 10 Scenic Drives in Texas
Much of the Texas landscape remains untouched by human influence, making it a prime place to explore the beauty Mother Nature provides. The state has a wide variety of terrain and wildlife ranging from the arid desert to lush forests,...
Top 10 Scenic Drives in Virginia
Virginia is a state well-known for its natural beauty and is home to several national and state parks. Scenic drives can be discovered at virtually every turn. There is more to the region than just its statuesque mountains, regal valleys,...
Top 10 Scenic Drives in Virginia
Virginia is a state well-known for its natural beauty and is home to several national and state parks. Scenic drives can be discovered at virtually every turn. There is more to the region than just its statuesque mountains, regal valleys,...

Related questions

I have excessive fuel consumption 125 km per 20 liters there is no check engine light car run smoothly no emissions? what is probl

It sounds like you may not be shifting the transmission at the appropriate times. The vehicle will not get optimum fuel economy if you are "over revving" the engine. To maximize fuel economy I suggest shifting at low rpm (2500...

Have to fuel very slowly, pump keeps shutting off

Hi, thanks for writing in. This may very well be related to the evaporative emission canister vent solenoid. This is often times part of the problem when getting the system to properly vent. This can be tested by simply checking...

Is My Fuel Pump Working?

If your engine starts and runs, then the answer is: "Yes, your fuel pump is working." But what if your engine doesn't start and run? Is your fuel pump working then? This is actually one of the first things that...

How can we help?

Our service team is available 7 days a week, Monday - Friday from 6 AM to 5 PM PST, Saturday - Sunday 7 AM - 4 PM PST.

1 (855) 347-2779 · hi@yourmechanic.com