Tip Sheet

9 Fuel-saving tips for motorists amid rising pump prices

Making small adjustments to your driving can go a long way
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Fuel prices these days are at an all-time high. As motorists, all we can do is to try our best to weather the storm until the prices at the pump finally start to go down.

Of course, the best way to cut expenses these days is to just ditch our cars altogether, though we understand that it’s not that easy, especially during a pandemic. So if it can’t be helped and we really need to drive out, the least we can do is to follow some fuel-saving tips.

To help everyone out, we’ve compiled some of the easiest ways we can minimize fuel consumption whenever we hit the road. Read on below for more info.

1) Make sure your car’s tire pressures are correct

This is arguably one of the most commonly overlooked pre-drive procedures. Unfortunately, many motorists may not know that incorrect tire pressure can also lead to less fuel-efficient drives. Ensuring your tires are slightly higher than or at the exact manufacturer-suggested PSI reading will lead to less rolling resistance and better fuel economy.

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2) Remove any excess cargo

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We know a lot of people—us included—tend to carry a lot of unnecessary stuff in their cars. For example, you might be keeping a table at the back of your SUV so you have one ready “just in case” you suddenly need one. This is a mentality we should avoid.

The heavier the car, the more power it’ll need to move. Ultimately, it’ll need more fuel to generate said power. That’s why if you’re going out for, say, a quick grocery run, you can take out all the unnecessary cargo from your car to reduce fuel consumption. Keep only the important stuff like the hydraulic jack, early warning devices, and all the other tools you might need in case of an emergency. The potential weight loss, no matter how minimal, will add up to significant fuel savings in the long run.

3) Be gentle with the throttle

The harder you step on the accelerator, the less fuel-efficient your car will be. If you’re driving from a standstill, learn to step on the gas pedal lightly and bear with the slow, gradual acceleration. It might take a while, but you’ll eventually get to highway speeds. Just keep in mind that your patience will go a long way in saving fuel.

4) Always try to keep a steady pace

When you’re able to maintain a constant speed, then you’re effectively avoiding hard-braking or sudden accelerations, meaning your car is using up fuel efficiently. You’re also more likely to be driving in the right gear as well, which does wonders for fuel economy.

This point also stresses the importance of learning to look ahead when you’re behind the wheel, especially when you’re on the expressway where you’ll be driving at higher speeds. The earlier you see hazards that could potentially force slowdowns or even stops, the better chance you’ll have at avoiding them. This will then make it easier for you to keep a steady pace on the road.

5) Avoid idling

Nothing ruins fuel efficiency like idling does. When you’re simply waiting for someone in a parking lot, for example, just turn off the engine when you’re there. It’ll keep you from both wasting fuel and polluting the air.

Yes, it may be hot outside so you need your car’s air-conditioning while you’re waiting, but there are workarounds to that. You can park under a shade and roll the windows down, or you can simply step out of the vehicle and find a cooler place to stay.

6) Turn off the engine at stoplights

If you’re going to stop for more than 30 seconds at an intersection to wait for the light to turn green, you can turn off your car’s engine to save up on fuel. But do this only if you’re sure your car isn’t experiencing any battery-related problems, lest your car stall right smack in the middle of a traffic jam.

7) Do away with the A/C when possible

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It’s hot here in the Philippines. We’re well aware of that. But you don’t always need to have your car’s A/C on. When you’re driving at night or on uncongested, less-polluted roads outside Metro Manila, you might want to try turning off the air-conditioning. It’s nice to enjoy some fresh air from time to time, you know.

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8) Plan your trips accordingly

If you can, schedule your trips so that you can avoid driving out at peak hours. You can also map out routes for your trips if you’re so inclined.

As for the day-to-day stuff, when you have several errands to take care of, you can also try and accomplish them all in one outing to be more efficient not just with fuel but also with time.

9) Use last-mile solutions

If you’re not keen on riding a bicycle or an electric kick scooter to work, then maybe you can use these two-wheelers as last-mile solutions instead. If you’re en route to the office, for example, you can simply park your car in a less congested area that’s not too far from your destination and use a foldable bike or EKS to complete your commute. Not only will you be able to save a lot of fuel, but you’ll also save yourself from the hassle of crawling through rush-hour gridlock.

Do you have any more suggestions that can be included in this list? Drop them in the comments section.

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