Now that COVID-19 restrictions are starting to ease, some of us are going back to our pre-pandemic routines. Companies now allow the workforce to be at the office more often, malls are fully operational, and tourist destinations have lifted their strict protocols. In short, people are starting to leave their houses again.
However, we are facing another unfortunate situation — the oil price hike. Whether you are a commuter or a private vehicle owner, all of us are affected by this price increase. According to the most recent Department of Energy data, gasoline prices have risen by ₱9.65/L since the beginning of 2022. Meanwhile, diesel and kerosene prices increased by ₱11.65/L and 10.30/L.
At the time of writing, none of us can tell when this fuel price hike will end. Hence, most of us are looking for different strategies to cope with this difficulty. Fortunately, there are a few ways we can save gas — and money — in the midst of this continuous increase.
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How to save gas: simple ways to use consume fuel more wisely
1. Remove unnecessary items from your vehicle
We usually get more mindful of our fuel when experiencing heavy traffic or when we have a long drive. But do you know having too many unnecessary items in your car can affect its fuel? According to the US Department of Energy, an extra 100 pounds in your vehicle could reduce your MPG by about 1%. So, it is recommended to always check your belongings and get rid of unneeded stuff in your vehicle to save gas.
2. Avoid heavy acceleration and sharp braking
Aggressive driving is not just unsafe for you and for others, but it also wastes your gas! Sudden acceleration, as well as sharp braking, actually consumes a lot of fuel.
According to the US Department of Energy, sudden braking and quick acceleration at highway speeds can reduce your gas mileage by 15% to 30%. In stop-and-go traffic, it can reduce your mileage by 10% to 40%. Hence, this is the best time to be more conscious of how you drive. Drive sensibly to save gas and your passengers, too!
3. Observe the speed limit
Gas mileage drops dramatically above 50mph, though it differs depending on the type of vehicle that’s being driven. But you know what they say — better safe than sorry. Regardless of what kind of car you drive, it’s recommended to stick to the required speed limit.
4. Avoid placing cargo containers on the roof of your vehicle
Putting cargo containers on the roof of your vehicle can increase aerodynamic drag or wind resistance. After all, this requires your engine to work harder to sustain its speed.
If highly needed, it is advisable to use smaller cargo boxes, since they have a far lower impact on fuel economy; according to the US Department of Energy, this can reduce it by about 1% to 2% in city driving and 1% to 5% on the highway. However, it is still highly suggested to remove any sort of cargo container if it’s not in use, as it will definitely help you save gas.
5. Turn your engine off when your car is parked
Although most of us are aware of this, it is worth reminding everyone to turn off their engines once their cars are parked!
This is especially important for those using old model vehicles; newer car engines have more specs that shut themselves down when the vehicle is idling, which helps save gas. Idling can consume a quarter to a half-gallon of fuel per hour, depending on the car’s size and type, plus air conditioner use.
6. Use cruise control
This is the best time to be mindful of the many benefits of cruise control. One such advantage is that it helps drivers maintain a constant speed — and like we mentioned above, sticking to the required speed limit helps save gas. Cruise control lowers fuel acceleration and deceleration; and in turn, it controls the amount of fuel your engine uses.
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There you have it — six simple ways you can save gas in the face of the oil price hike! Try to follow these tips and let us know how much you’re able to save. If you have any more tips, feel free to share them with us in the comments section!
Featured image credit: AvGusT174 | Canva Pro