Just trying to save you a couple of bucks as you head out on your summer getaway.

The Society of Automotive Engineers tested the following on a Ford Explorer SUV and a Toyota Corolla compact.  Here's what they found...

1. Don't use a rooftop cargo box.  Huh?  Yup.  You heard right.  When using one up top, the Explorer had an 8% decrease in gas mileage.  The Corolla, 22%.  The only thing that worked for either vehicle was rear-mounting the box on the BACK of the SUV.  In that case, there was a negligible difference.

2. Don't drive aggressively.  Speeding up and braking is obviously not a good idea but it'll also cost you.  According to fueleconomy.com, that can give you 33% worse gas mileage.

3. Don't drive too fast.  According to the latest research, with every 5 mph you drive above 50, that's the equivalent of spending 24 cents more per gallon of gas.  At 80mph, the Corolla's gas mileage decreased by 46%, with the Explorer, 40%.

4. Don't drive with under-inflated tires.  Tests say that should you allow your tires to deflate 50%, that can decrease your gas mileage 10%.

And finally...

5. Don't drive with the windows down.  Seems counterintuitive, doesn't it?  But, no.  Driving with the AC ON actually give you 4 to 8% BETTER gas mileage than driving HOT with the windows DOWN.  Surprising but true!

Drive easy.  Have a great trip!  DaveT