Gas prices are soaring thanks to the rising cost of a barrel of oil on the world market, primarily as a result of the Russian invasion of Ukraine and the economic sanctions many countries have levied against Russia. In the North Sound, fuel prices have jumped well above four dollars per gallon in the past week.
What can be done to help with the gas price crunch? Consumer Reports and AAA recently shared a number of steps motorists can do to ease the squeeze on the wallet.
- Check your tire pressure – Ensure your tire pressure is at the proper level for both the tire and the vehicle. Tires should be checked at least once a month, and more often during changing weather temperatures. Under-inflated tires really cut down on your gas mileage.
- Slow down – On the highway, maintaining the speed limit can increase fuel economy by as much as 20 percent. Around town, reduce your acceleration from complete stops like from a traffic signal. Zipping away quickly is a downer on gas mileage.
- Windows down or air conditioning – As the weather warms up, air conditioning is a convenient manner to cool down the air inside the vehicle. Yet running the A/C causes the engine to work harder and hence reduces fuel economy. Rolling window(s) down will help during warmer weather and beside, the dog will enjoy it too!
- Cruise control – The use of cruise control on an open roadway is a good way to drive at a steady speed and in turn, enhance gas mileage. Just be cautious using cruise control on crowded roadways – driving experts say avoid cruise control on roadways with a lot of traffic.
- Premium gas – According to experts, use of premium gas does not enhance gas mileage. The only reason to use premium is if the owner’s manner says premium fuel is required. Otherwise, stick to lower priced regular fuel.
- Fuel additives – Experts point out these additives help reduce carbon build up and clear various parts of your fuel system components. Yet, these additives do not increase mileage or performance.
- Car trips – Another gas saver is to reduce trips and run as many errands as possible in one trip while out on the road. Other options include walking, biking, and taking public transportation.
- Your job Carpooling with co-workers is another way to help save gas. And in the wake of the pandemic, working from home will help avoid many commutes to work.
These days, prices on fuel vary widely. Just checking lately, prices in the North Sound have differed as much as 50 cents per gallon. Use apps like Gas Buddy or Gas Guru to learn what the latest prices may be and plug those fill ups into your planned trip of errands or to/from work.
Unfortunately with the price of gas seemingly through the roof, gas thieves are in action. Recent thefts have involved not only the use of hoses to siphon gas out of tanks, but the latest tactic according to Everett police is to use a power tool and drill into the bottom of a gas tank to drain it, leaving the vehicle without a useable gas tank and an expensive replacement. Police advise parking vehicles in a garage or well-lit area as a deterrent.
Patrick DeHaan, a senior petroleum analyst at Gas Buddy recently posted, “This is when Americans need to band together to cut our fuel consumption. That is really the only thing we can do at this moment.”