Higher gas prices might not force families to postpone or cancel vacation plans this summer, but that doesn’t mean people haven’t noticed – and complained about – the higher prices, which are expected to be 25 cents higher than last summer’s record highs.
John McCarthy, president of Continental Airport Express, a ground transportation company, says that conserving fuel is a major consideration for his company, which uses a monthly average of 42,000 gallons of gasoline to fuel its fleet of 95 vans. Out of necessity, the company has become very savvy about reducing fuel costs.
McCarthy offers the following tips to the general driving public.
- Under 40 miles an hour, you can save gas by turning off the air conditioner and keeping the windows open. Over 40 miles an hour, the reverse is true. Open windows will create a drag, and the engine will have to work harder to compensate.
- Stay within speed limits and use cruise control if you have it. Slowing down and speeding up wastes fuel.
- After stopping at an intersection, accelerate slowly, which allows the carburetor to operate at peak efficiency.
- Park car in such a way that when you start up again you can begin to travel in forward gear without maneuvering back and forth.
- Keep tires inflated to the maximum.
- Make sure vehicle is well maintained. In particular, have air filters cleaned regularly as poor air flow increases gas waste. Regular tune-ups will also allow engine to work at peak efficiency.
- While idling for long periods of time wastes fuel, so does turning the engine on and off needlessly. For stops of more than two to three minutes, you are probably best served by shutting down.
Founded in 1853 as the Parmelee Transportation Company, Continental Airport Express currently transports more than one million passengers annually to and from Chicago’s O’Hare and Midway Airports. Its services are offered to and from downtown Chicago, as well as most Chicago neighborhoods and its surrounding suburbs. For more information visit www.airportexpress.com.