Do you still remember the time when fuel prices were at the P30+ level? Every other month, public transport drivers are on strike due to increase in gas prices. A lot of people in Metro Manila have opted to leave their cars behind and just brave the MRT and LRT to get to the office. With the political unrest happening in oil-rich countries, it is possible that price levels will not change anytime soon.
Remember that saving on gas is not only through finding the cheapest gas station (or not using your car at all) but by making your car more fuel-efficient and increasing the kilometer-per-liter (or miles-per-gallon if you are in English) ratio. We have listed ten tips to help you save on gas, cost-wise and usage-wise:
1. Remove unnecessary stuff from your trunk. Sure, these days, it has become an extension of your home - from books in school, running shoes for after-work jogging, gym clothes, etc., but putting more load into your trunk leads to more fuel used to boost the car.
2. Tune-up. Don't miss your periodic maintenance service. Make sure you change oil as scheduled and using the recommended oil by your advisor.
3. Organize carpools with friends, officemates, or classmates. Going to a trip out of town? Are you from the same office or school and just live in the same area? Go for carpools. Saves money, and saves the environment because there are lesser cars on the road.
4. Paying via credit card? Look for a credit card that offers rebates (cash back) for fuel purchases. A lot of the major banks in the Philippines have tie-ups with oil companies to give back as much as 5% of what you paid for gasoline.
5. Always check tire pressure. When a tire doesn't have enough air, it takes more gas to get the car rolling, especially here in Metro Manila where some roads (or stretches of it) are uneven and full of bumps and potholes. Go to the nearest gas station and have your tires checked. Consult your car manual to know what would be the best tire pressure (your friendly car forum would be a great resource, too).
6. Take a steady driving pace. Yes, we understand you're in Manila and it's all about survival. However, we'd rather that you save gas and medical bills than be the own king of the road. Sudden braking makes your car waste gas. Instant revving also uses a lot of fuel. Slow down when you're nearing the stop light or when an intersection requires you to stop. Don't own the road - remember Commonwealth and Macapagal Avenue have maximum speed limits of 60kph!
7. Avoid idling as much as possible. Unnecessary idling not only wastes fuel but also harms the environment. We know that most cities in Metro Manila would have no parking signs and the only way you can avoid getting a ticket is to leave your car on (yes, in case you don't know, a car is only considered parked if the engine is switched off); however, if you have the chance to turn off the engine, please do so.
8. Related to the tip above, start driving as soon as you switch on the engine. New cars do not need to be warmed up. It's a form of idling. It is suggested that you drive slowly (the car is already warming up at this time) and then gear up (not rev) when the cold temperature icon disappears from the dashboard.
10. Lastly, schedule all your activities on one day or in the same area. If you need to do some personal errands and/or gimmicks like grocery, salon, spa, bookstore, movies, etc., try as much as possible to do them on a Saturday or Sunday and in the same mall. That saves you time and makes you more efficient, than hopping from one place to another, thus paying for more gas and wait for it, parking fee!
We actually have some more tips like not using the aircon; however, we all know you'll probably get sick with that because of the pollution in Metro Manila. But if given the right environment, why not?
Do you have more gas saving tips? Share to us via the comments section.
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