After enjoying a week of gasoline and fuel price rollback, the country’s large oil companies forecasted another spike in fuel prices in the following months, with the Russian-Ukraine conflict greatly affecting the volatile oil and fuel prices in the world market.
While these gasoline hike news aren’t new to Filipinos and obviously we cannot work our way to make these prices gear up in our favor, there are alternative ways to keep our fuel consumption at minimum as possible.
So fasten your seat belt and get comfy on your seats as we traversed through these helpful tips to save gas while driving.
Do Not Slam on the Brakes
Hitting the brakes abruptly while approaching a red light will cost you more fuel than you thought you would. Not only that it will spike your fuel consumption to almost 40%, but it will also cause damage on your brake pads, discs, and rotors. You might have more trips to the repair shop instead of your dream destinations!
So next time you approach a red light or a stop sign, coast down and decelerate slowly by easing on the accelerator pedal gently. Coasting will also save you a lot when it comes to repair and maintenance as it lowers the wear and tear on wheels and tires’ part.
Another good thing is to study how the cars and traffic behave ahead of you. If you notice that the car in front of you slows down, it’s a good indicator that you are approaching a red light or there’s something that disrupts or delays traffic. Keep a good distance between other vehicles so you can coast whenever necessary.
To parallel it up, you should also avoid slamming hard on your gas pedal as if you are in a race car competition. The harder you accelerate, the more fuel you waste. If you are driving on a manual transmission, it’s best to put it in moderate throttle position. Keep it between 2000 to 2500 rpm for best fuel efficiency. You can also rely on the tachometer to know when to shift to high gear or lower gears.
Here’s a trick, imagine there’s an egg under your pedal or a cup of coffee (without the lid of course) sitting on top of your dashboard. You shouldn’t crush the egg or spill the coffee so accelerate carefully!
Maintain a Steady Speed
Sudden changes in speed also contributes to poor fuel efficiency. When driving on a highway, avoid taking sudden dips and rapid accelerations if you don’t want to waste fuel. Keep your driving at a steady rhythm (under the speed limit of course!).
It is advisable to drive on a cruise control when going on long commutes and road trips, especially on highways to maintain a constant speed. However, you still need to pay attention to traffic signs and switch off cruise control when the road condition requires for it.
Switch Off Engine Instead of Idling
An average vehicle wastes about a cup of fuel for every 10 minutes of idling. So, when you find yourself stuck in the middle of a traffic, it’s better to turn off your engine completely. Avoiding excessive idling will save fuel for up to 19%. The less fuel you waste, the better gas mileage you get.
Maintain Proper Tire Pressure
Check up on your wheels every week to ensure they are still on the proper tire pressure. Driving with under inflated tires tend to increase fuel consumption by 4%. In order to determine the right air pressure for your tires, you can follow the manufacturer’s recommendation indicated on the owner’s manual, inspect the tire itself for the correct PSI or check the information posted on the driver’s door or doorpost of your car.
While it is not advisable to drive with under inflated tires, overinflated tires are also a no-no. Overinflated tires will cause the middle tread to worn out faster, reducing your tire’s lifespan for about half a year. Overinflating will also make your tires lose contact will the road, which may lead to deadly car crashes. Lastly, overinflated tires will give you a humpy and bumpy ride, which spoils the fun ride overall.
Use the Right Fuel
Every vehicle is made differently so it’s better to check on the owner’s manual on your vehicle’s fuel requirement. Every fuel has their own octane rating which may benefit or harm your vehicle’s engine. Choosing fuel that has lower octane rating than your vehicle requirement will resort to poor performance and lower fuel efficiency. Giving your car the right fuel it deserves will bring you more mileage.
Avoid Traffic Hotspots
As much as possible, travel in routes where there is less traffic. There are many apps that’s free to download online which will help you determine which routes are more congested with cars or have lesser road blocks or repairs. While these ways are longer than your usual routes, these will save you more fuel that driving in constant breaking and acceleration.
Heading out on a beach trip or a camping night in the woods? Before you lock your itinerary and load that cargo, make sure you are carrying only the necessities. The less your cargo weighs, the less fuel your vehicle will consume. Improve your car’s fuel efficiency and reduce wind resistance by removing the roof or bicycle racks if they aren’t essential for your scheduled travel. The lack of aerodynamic drag means less fuel consumption.
Use Your Car Air Conditioning Wisely
Driving on a hot, summer day will make you instantly reach for the air conditioning switch. Before you enjoy the cool air conditioning, let the hot air out first. While the high heat of the summer will help your engine warm up faster, all those gas savings will evaporate when you turn on your air conditioning. Save gas and fuel consumption by rolling your windows down when driving at low speeds. Turn it back on when you are back at driving highway speeds.
Driving out for an errand? Save time, gas, and money by combining all your trips into one. List out all the things you need to buy and identify which route is the most efficient to take to minimize unnecessary stops and double trips to the store. This way, you can reduce fuel consumption and save money at the same time.
Walk Instead of Driving
If the errand is near enough to take by foot, opt for it instead. Or if you’re up for some biking, you can cycle your way there instead. Nowadays, a lot of people are using bicycles as their mode of transportation for work. Not only that it is eco-friendly, but you will save a lot of gas money while giving your body the exercise it deserves.
Owning a car is also an investment that you should take good care of for maximum utility so can drive more mileage and reach more destinations. By adapting these tips and driving habits, we hope that your next travel will be not only be fun but also fuel efficient! Have a safe trip!
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