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Save money on your summer road trip by knowing when to use AC or keep the windows down

Posted at 5:10 PM, Jun 01, 2015
and last updated 2015-06-02 08:08:59-04

The hotter it gets, the harder it is to function. The same is true for cars, but motorists can still save money, even in the heat of summer.

Ben Burns with Denver's Downing Street Garage says the biggest money saver is understanding when to use air conditioning.

"It's absolutely based on how fast you're going. If you're driving on a highway for a long time then you're going to want to keep your windows up and have your air conditioning on," said Burns.

The breaking point is 50 mph. Keep the windows down when driving below this speed, and use air conditioning when traveling faster.

Drivers can also save money by monitoring tire pressure.

"The sides of the tires are not made to ride on the road. So, if they ride on the road, they're going to wear down pretty quick," said Burns.

The best advice for saving money during your summer commute is to take it easy.

"If you can cruise along as much as possible, you're going to save gas," said Burns. "If you're driving around like Dale Earnhardt, you're going to use a lot of gas."

Most summer tune-up needs are part of a regular oil change. Take vehicles to a mechanic if there's concern they aren't ready for the heat.