With rising gas prices and a large tank to fill, pickup truck drivers across the U.S are always looking for a way to save some change. So, can tonneau covers impact pickup truck gas mileage? It's a question we get asked frequently, and there are actually a few factors that can affect miles-per-gallon when you're using a tonneau cover.
It really depends on how you use your truck. If you're mostly driving in city traffic, a tonneau cover isn't going to make much of a difference in your gas mileage.
However, if you're a frequent highway driver, a tonneau cover can help fuel efficiency. Tonneau covers help reduce wind resistance, and the less wind resistance your truck has, the better your miles-per-gallon will be. In fact, some tests have shown that a tonneau cover can improve fuel economy by as much as 10%.
The type of tonneau cover you choose will have an impact on your savings. For example, a less structured, soft-shell cover is less streamlined and wind resistant, meaning your chances of saving at the pump are reduced. A hard top cover, like Mountain Top’s EVO-M Retractable cover provides a more streamlined structure that is less resistant to wind, offering more likely benefits to your wallet.
Tips for How to Get Better Gas Mileage
As gas prices continue to be volatile, it's more important than ever to find ways to improve your car's fuel efficiency. Beyond using a tonneau cover, here are eight additional tips to help you save at the pump:
1. Check your tire pressure regularly
One of the simplest things you can do to improve your gas mileage is to make sure your tires are always properly inflated. This might seem like a no-brainer, but it's easy to forget about your tires until they start giving you trouble. By keeping an eye on your tire pressure and inflating tires to the proper level, you can improve your miles-per-gallon by up to 3.3%.2. Use the right motor oil
Another easy way to improve your gas mileage is to make sure you're using the right motor oil in your vehicle. Using a heavier weight oil can actually decrease fuel economy by as much as 2%, so it's important to use the lightest weight oil that your truck manufacturer recommends.
3. Get a tune-up
If your truck is starting to feel a little sluggish, it might be time for a tune-up. A well-tuned engine can improve fuel efficiency by an average of 4%, so it's definitely worth getting it checked out by a professional.
4. Avoid using your AC when it’s not necessary
While it's tempting to blast the air conditioning when it's hot outside, doing so can actually decrease your miles-per-gallon by up to 20%, unless you're driving 55 mph or faster. If possible, try to avoid using your AC and instead roll down the windows to let the air circulate.
5. Use cruise control
If you're going on a long road trip, one of the best ways to improve your gas milage is to use cruise control. By maintaining a consistent speed, you can avoid wasting gas by accelerating and braking unnecessarily.
6. Don't idle for too long
If you're going to be stopped for more than a minute or two, it's more efficient to turn off your car rather than letting it idle. Idling can waste a significant amount of gas, so it's best to avoid it whenever possible.
7. Avoid high speeds
Though it’s sometimes tempting to put the pedal to the metal, speeding can definitely decrease fuel economy. For every five mph over 50 mph that you drive, you're costing yourself an additional seven cents per gallon of gas. So, if you want to save money, it's best to stick to the speed limit.
8. Drive during off-peak hours
If you have the flexibility, try to avoid driving during peak traffic hours. Not only will you avoid the stress of sitting in traffic, but you'll also consume less gas.
To realize maximum performance from your pickup truck, one of the best investments you can make is in a tonneau cover. Tonneau covers are designed to cover and protect the truck bed and its contents, and it can help improve aerodynamics and fuel efficiency. Not only will it help you save money at the pump, but it will also protect your cargo from the elements. To learn more about the perks a tonneau cover can provide, check out the Mountain Top EVO-M Retractable Tonneau Cover!