Fuel Economy Tip – Clear the Roof

Today’s tip is another one taken from the obvious category, but is still a great way to help you save on gas. Besides, we can always use a friendly reminder.

Clear the roof of your car.

People seemingly have more stuff and less room to carry it, so many drivers have resorted to carrying these extra items on the roof of their vehicles. Whether you’re carrying items by just strapping them down or are placing them in carriers designed to be placed on the roof of your car, you are significantly reducing your vehicle’s gas mileage.

The first reason you are hurting gas mileage is because you are adding extra weight to your vehicle. As I said before, adding weight to your car decreases fuel economy 1% for every extra 100 pounds you carry.

The second reason you are reducing your fuel economy is because by placing items on the roof of your vehicle you are making it less aerodynamic – much like having your sunroof open – and are increasing the amount of drag.

At highway speeds, carrying items (especially bulky items) on the roof of your vehicle can reduce your gas mileage between 2% and 10%, which is essentially adding between $.06 and $.30 to each gallon of gas you buy.

So, if you can get away with carrying all of your items in your vehicle, you’ll be much better served.


  1. You are right, research shows rooftop carriers & baskets steal 20-25% of MPG! (Edmunds, Consumer Reports). They can be heavy, a pain to load on a roof, hard shells plus hardware can cost $350-$650 and are bulky to store. AeroPACK is a fraction of the cost, fits on the lift gate behind the car, easy loading, saves MPG, gas and time. We use AeroPACK for all family and camping trips. It fits on sedans and minivans, even hatchbacks. At AeroPACKusa

  2. Oh boy, you got to be kidding me…
    That’s just blatant publicity, even if there’s an ounce of truth behind it.

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