As Gas Prices Rise, Some Tips for Better Fuel Economy
Pain at the pump can be eased when you know a few simple facts
ANCHORAGE - There is a benefit to higher gas prices in Alaska.
“Sometimes it means higher oil prices which means the state receives more money,” said state economist Neal Fried.
But motorists probably don’t see it that way.
“Most consumers pull up to the pump and react like consumers anywhere else; they are going, 'ouch,'” said Fried.
We don't have much choice when it comes to what we pay at the pump but there are numerous steps you can take to improve your vehicle’s fuel efficiency.
Speeding and rapid acceleration wastes gas and according to fueleconomy.gov. Each 5 miles-per-hour you drive over 50 milies-per-hour is like paying an additional 27 cents per gallon.
With winter approaching mechanics say spending $150 on an engine heater (including installation) is money well spent.
“Most people go out there and start the car up, and it'll take 20 minutes for it to idle and warm up,” said mechanic Steve Wright from Agen’s Automotive.
"It probably only takes 5 minutes if you have an engine heater already plugged in,” said Wright.
And with a little more air in your tires the engine won't be working as hard and using as much fuel.
“If you've ever tried to push a car with flat tires you know it's called rolling resistance; if you have more of the tire laying on the ground it's more friction.”
Clean filters can also make a difference.
“Fuel filters, if they get plugged then the fuel pump has to work harder and the engine has to compensate by squirting more fuel into the engine,” said Wright.
Another good tip, especially relevant for people with smaller cars, is to avoid keeping unnecessary items in your vehicle - an extra 100 pounds could reduce your mile per gallon by up to 2 percent.