The dollar-and-cent meter at the pump seems to be spinning faster these days as US prices hit another record high on Tuesday.
The average price for a gallon of regular unleaded oil was $4.37, up 17 cents from a week ago, according to the AAA. This time last year it was only $2.97 a gallon. Crude oil prices were already high, mainly because many countries are refusing to buy Russian oil due to the invasion of Ukraine. And now we are entering the main driving season and the demand has increased.
That means the cost to pump 15 gallons into a vehicle is now a whopping $65.55. Four tanks of gas a month would cost more than $260, a big chunk of almost everyone’s budget.
With gas prices so high, owners may be considering replacing their older vehicles with something more efficient. But that may not be cost effective. The global shortage of computer chips and other parts has limited production of new vehicles and driven up prices. This sent a lot of people into the used car market and also drove up prices.
The average used car cost $31,218 last month. The average new? $45,341 according to Edmunds.com.
In general, comparable electric vehicles are even more expensive than petrol-powered ones, although charging the battery is usually much cheaper.
All is not necessarily lost. There are steps you can take to improve the performance of an old car, truck or SUV, keep going and maybe save some money on fuel:
Keep your tires properly inflated
Make sure there is enough air in the tires. Tires that are under-inflated create more rolling resistance on the road surface, thereby reducing fuel consumption. Inflate your tires to the pressure recommended on the inside of your driver’s door. Check them regularly with a tire pressure gauge.
“Typically, if you’re under-inflated, your gas mileage will be affected by about 5% to 10%,” said David Bennett, AAA’s repair systems manager.
But don’t inflate too much. This could cause the tires to wear out faster.
Ensure fluids and filters are changed
Maintain your vehicle properly. Follow the manufacturer’s recommendations for changing oil and other fluids, and replacing air and other filters. Replacing the spark plugs at the correct intervals can also help.
“The vehicle will operate at maximum efficiency if properly maintained,” said Bennett. According to Repairpal.com, new spark plugs range from $235 to $289 for, say, a 10-year-old Ford F-150 pickup with a 4.6-liter V8.
Watch your speed
According to the AAA, fuel economy peaks at around 50 mph for most vehicles and then falls as speed increases. Reducing highway speed by 5 mph (8 km/h) to 10 mph improves gas mileage by up to 14%.
Rolling out at traffic lights also helps. Plan your trip to keep going and avoid unnecessary stops. Cars use a lot of fuel to get out of a standstill.
Plan your trip in advance
Try to minimize backtracking. Complete multiple tasks on each trip. Avoid rush hours and other busy times.
Don’t stay idle too much
An engine will burn 1.9 liters (1.9 liters) of gasoline per hour at idle, but a warm engine only needs about 10 seconds of fuel to restart, according to the AAA.
Therefore, if it is safe to do so, switch off the engine if you stand still for more than a minute. Many new vehicles do this by themselves. Bennett says owners shouldn’t disable their new “stop-start” system.
“Top of the range” gas
Refuel with petrol labeled “Top Tier”. Oil companies add additives to top-tier gas that reduce carbon deposits.
“If you start getting carbon deposits, the vehicle won’t run as efficiently,” Bennett said. Gasoline brands with the additives have stickers on the pumps. You can find them under here.
https://www.nbcphiladelphia.com/news/national-international/as-gas-prices-hit-record-high-heres-how-to-increase-your-car-mileage/3234467/ Here’s how to increase gas mileage in your car – NBC10 Philadelphia