I remember, going into January, the price of regular unleaded gasoline was something like 51.90 Pesos to a liter. Just this morning, the big 3 (Petron, Shell and Caltex), announced another round of oil price hikes. As if the current price of 57.15 Pesos to a liter for unleaded gas was not high enough. The government refuses to exempt oil from among those which are subject to VAT, thus resulting to even higher pump prices as the price of imported crude goes up.
So... aside from taking the train, jeep or other forms of public transportation to get to and from places, I decided to find out the easiest ways to maximize fuel consumption which I am sharing here with everybody:
1. Slow downOne of the best ways to save gas is to simply reduce your speed. As speed increases, fuel economy decreases exponentially. (Just be sure you keep to the right, so you won't impede the less-enlightened.)
2. Check your tire pressureUnder-inflated tires are one of the most commonly ignored causes of crummy MPG. Tires lose air due to time (about 1 psi per month) and temperature (1 psi for every 10 degree drop); under-inflated tires have more rolling resistance, which means you need to burn more gas to keep your car moving. Buy a reliable tire gauge and check your tires at least once a month. Be sure to check them when they are cold, since driving the car warms up the tires along with the air inside them, which increases pressure and gives a falsely high reading.
4. Accelerate with careJack-rabbit starts are an obvious fuel-waster -- but that doesn't mean you should crawl away from every light. If you drive an automatic, accelerate moderately so the transmission can shift up into the higher gears. Stick-shifters should shift early to keep the revs down, but don't lug the engine -- downshift if you need to accelerate. Keep an eye well down the road for potential slowdowns. If you accelerate to speed then have to brake right away, that's wasted fuel.
5. Hang with the trucksEver notice how, in bad traffic jams, cars seem to constantly speed up and slow down, while trucks tend to roll along at the same leisurely pace? A constant speed keeps shifting to a minimum -- important to those who have to wrangle with those ten-speed truck transmissions -- but it also aids economy, as it takes much more fuel to get a vehicle moving than it does to keep it moving. Rolling with the big rigs saves fuel (and aggravation).
6. Get back to natureConsider shutting off the air conditioner, opening the windows and enjoying the breeze. It may be a tad warmer, but at lower speeds you'll save fuel. That said, at higher speeds the A/C may be more efficient than the wind resistance from open windows and sunroof. (Just make sure your not about to meet a client or something)
7. Back off the blingNew wheels and tires may look cool, and they can certainly improve handling. But if they are wider than the stock tires, chances are they'll create more rolling resistance and decrease fuel economy.
8. Clean out your carPeriodically go through your car and see what can be tossed out or brought into the house. It doesn't take much to acquire an extra 40 or 50 lbs. of stuff, and the more weight your car has to lug around, the more fuel it burns.
9. Don't drivereiterating what i mentioned earlier at the start of this article.. Take the train, carpool, and consolidate your shopping trips. Walking or biking is good for your wallet and your health. And before you get in your car, always ask yourself: "Is this trip really necessary?"
Norman Roland E. Ocana III, Entry # 9