How to cushion the financial blow of skyrocketing gas prices

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How to cushion the financial blow of skyrocketing gas prices


DETROIT (AP) – Any driver who has had to fill up lately could be forgiven for winning in disbelief.

Fueled largely by the Russian invasion of Ukraine, gas prices around the world have skyrocketed.

In the United States, they hit record highs of over $ 4.30 per gallon. That’s 50%, or $ 1.43 per gallon, more than a year ago.

The average owner of a full-size SUV spends about $ 110 more each month on fuel than this time last year, says Kelley Blue Book. Compact car owners also pay an extra $ 60 per month on average.

And if you’re like many people, the prices of new and used cars are so high now that it might be prohibitive to buy another more fuel-efficient vehicle. This is if I could find one. New and used vehicles are historically scarce.

Last month the average used vehicle cost $ 29,646. The new medium one? $ 45,596, according to

In general, comparable electric vehicles are even more expensive than gasoline-powered ones, although charging the battery is typically much cheaper.

All is not necessarily lost. There are steps you can take to improve the performance of an old car, truck or SUV, go further and maybe save some fuel:

– Make sure there is enough air in the tires. Deflated tires create greater rolling resistance with the pavement, thus reducing gas mileage. Inflate the tires to the recommended pressure inside the driver’s door. Check them periodically with a tire pressure gauge. “Typically, fuel consumption will be affected by about 5% to 10% if you don’t have adequate inflation,” said David Bennett, repair systems manager for AAA. But don’t over-inflate. This could cause faster tire wear.

– Carry out proper maintenance of your vehicle. Follow the manufacturer’s recommendations for changing oil and other fluids, and for replacing air and other filters. Replacing the spark plugs at the proper intervals can also help. “The vehicle will run at its maximum efficiency” with good maintenance, Bennett said. It will cost between $ 219 and $ 268 for new spark plugs on, say, a 10-year-old Ford F-150 pickup with a 3.7-liter V6, according to

– Watch your speed. AAA says fuel economy peaks at around 50mph on most vehicles, then declines as speed increases. Reducing freeway speed from 5mph (8km / h) to 10mph improves fuel consumption by up to 14%.

– Plan your route in advance. Try to minimize backtracking. Do more activities on each trip. Avoid rush hours and other rush hours.

– Don’t stay inactive for too long. An engine burns one-quarter to half-gallon (1.9 liters) of gas per hour when idling, but a hot engine only requires about 10 seconds of fuel to restart, according to AAA. So, whenever possible safely, turn off the engine if you stand still for more than a minute. Many new vehicles do it themselves. Bennett says owners shouldn’t disable their new “stop-start” system.

– Stop lights by inertia. Calculate the time of your trip to continue traveling and avoid unnecessary stops. Cars have to consume a lot of fuel to move from a standstill.

– Refuel with petrol designated as “Top Level”. Oil companies put additives into the top-tier gas that cuts carbon deposits. “When you start accumulating carbon, the vehicle won’t run efficiently,” Bennett said. Gasoline brands with additives have adhesives on the pumps. They can be found at


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