Prime the pump
July 19, 2022
How do we save gas while driving?

What is going on with gas prices, when will gas prices go down and what can we do in the interim? I am familiar with vehicular owners having to “foot it” because of mechanical problems relating to their vehicles but it’s not every day you hear a driver leaving their vehicle at home and contending with the inconvenience and discomfort of public transport because of exorbitant gas prices. Gas prices are at an all-time high and there’s no indication when they will start going down. Over the next couple weeks, we will share some tips on to save gas while driving.

Mike Patton, however, in a Forbes article titled “The real reason behind surging gas prices.” explains that “gasoline prices rise and fall with the price of crude oil, though not always in sync or to the same degree. Oil is a global commodity and as such, its price is determined primarily by global supply and demand. When supply is greater than demand, prices fall. Conversely, when demand is greater than supply, prices rise.” According to Patton, oil has risen over 58% and retail gas has risen well over 24% since January 2022 when Russia sent troops to the Ukrainian border. Patton said that if Russia continues its aggression towards Ukraine, oil prices will likely remain elevated. On the flip side, if the economic sanctions are successful and hurt the Russian economy, as is expected, Putin may be forced to withdraw. In any event, when Russia decides to be a good neighbor – which may never happen, the price of oil should decline and the price we pay for gas should follow.”

Until such time, there are a few things that we can do to save gas while driving. This week we share some suggestions from Matsumoto Noaki from his article “How to save gas while driving: The ultimate guide.”

Plan Your Route: Schedule and combine errands to get the most done in the shortest route. Also, plan an earlier start to your day to avoid rush hour and high traffic and lots of stop and go driving which consume more gas and create more wear and tear to your vehicle parts.

Use the A/C: Excessive use of the A/C is one of the most common causes for high fuel consumption, since it forces the engine to work harder. To cut down on the A/C, after you start driving, open the windows for a few minutes or turn on the air vents to quickly cool down the car a bit, and only then turn the A/C on.

Also, try parking in the shade, so that your car doesn’t heat up as much. To further cut down on using the A/C, when you come back, simply leave the windows or sunroof cracked ever so slightly to allow for some air circulation while it’s parked.

Lighten Your Load: Another often overlooked method to improve our fuel economy with no compromise is trying to lighten the load of your vehicle. Removing the unnecessary things you travel around with daily – i.e. heavy tools, children’s toys, etc. It may seem trivial, but it is known to have a noticeable effect on fuel consumption in the long-term.

Avoid Excessive Idling: Excessive idling eats up gas. If you are picking someone up, don’t idle for ten minutes, but turn the vehicle off instead. Avoid idling whenever you can.

Put on the right gear: If your vehicle is a manual transmission model instead of automatic, especially if you’re an amateur driver, there are more rooms for unnecessary consumption of fuel. If you drive at a lower gear while at higher speed, the vehicle will have to put out more power to make a move, thus more fuel consumption. The key to saving gas while driving a manual transmission vehicle is to avoid acceleration and synchronize the speed with the gear changes.