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Does Cruise Control Save Gas?

A car drives down a road.
SKT Studio/Shutterstock.com

There are a fair share of myths when it comes to getting the most from your car’s gas. But while misleading rumors exist, a few methods actually can help ensure you’re getting the most bang for your buck at the gas pump.

Your car’s cruise control can help you save gas, but you’ll have to use it correctly.

A cruise control helps prevent continued deceleration and acceleration. The momentum changes are what can zap your car’s fuel since force equals mass times acceleration. The more you accelerate, the more energy is needed.

While there isn’t a large body of recent research pointing toward an exact reduction in gas usage when cruise control is enabled, previous studies have shown reductions up to 20%, but there are also more subtle results.

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The numbers might vary between vehicle types, but opting to use your cruise control is a simple way to get the most from your gas. You just have to use it in the right circumstances. It’s best to use your cruise control on mostly flat highways. Particularly hilly terrain can cut down on its efficiency as can attempting to use it for in-town driving.

If you want to attempt to cut down on gas usage, you’ll be most able to do so by using your cruise control during more extended drives on highways such as road trips, vacations, and long-distance moves. However, it can be useful during shorter distances as long as the trip takes place on highways.

The next time you’ve got a trip, you might want to ensure your cruise control is working. If you’ve heard that turning your air conditioning off can be another gas-saving method, you might want to think again.

Shea Simmons Shea Simmons
Shea Simmons is the Assignments Editor at LifeSavvy. Previously, she worked as a freelance writer with a focus on beauty and lifestyle content. Her work has appeared in Bustle, Allure, and Hello Giggles. Read Full Bio »
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