10 effective ways to save fuel as prices surge

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As the Russian – Ukraine war escalates, amid sanctions from Western powers, the price of fuel, which already has been on the rise in recent times, is projected to increase even higher.

Russia produces 10% of global oil and supplies 40% of Europe’s gas. With sanctions on Russia, including a block on certain Russian banks’ access to the SWIFT international payment system in further punishment to Moscow, the country’s exports of all commodities such as oil and metals have severely been disrupted, a move that can have dire consequences on the global supply of oil.

Already, the Organisation of the Petroleum Exporting Countries and allies (OPEC+), led by Russia, has revised down its forecast for the 2022 oil market surplus by about 200,000 barrels per day (bpd) to 1.1 million bpd,.

A Joint Technical Committee (JTC) report prepared for OPEC+ ministers shows stocks in the developed world standing at 62 million barrels below the 2015 to 2019 average by the end of the year.

Ministers from OPEC+ are expected to meet on March 2, 2022 to decide whether to increase output by 400,000 bpd in April.

Sources say their output deal is showing no cracks so far after Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, and the group is likely to stick to a planned output rise despite crude topping $100 a barrel.

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The situation together with the exchange rate depreciation is thus likely to directly affect the price of fuel in Ghana.

 

The Environmental News Agency (ENA), therefore, proposes measures to help save fuel and ultimately save some money.

  1. Avoid Long Idling

Idling for long periods consumes fuel that could have been saved by simply turning off the engine. Restarting an engine uses about the same amount of gas as idling for 30 seconds. Drivers are therefore encouraged to shut off their engines when idling for long periods.

  1. Clean Out the Trunk and Eliminate Unnecessary Weight

Vehicles get much better mileage when they’re not loaded with unnecessary weight. Every 200 pounds of additional weight trims one mile off fuel efficiency. It is essential that drivers remove all non-required items from the vehicle.

  1. Keep correct tire pressure

Always ensure that tires are inflated to the manufacturer’s recommended level. One underinflated tire can cut fuel economy by 2% per pound of pressure below the proper inflation level. Studies have found that when a tire is underinflated by 4-5 psi below the manufacturer’s recommended tire pressure, for example, vehicle fuel consumption increases by 10% and, over the long haul, causes a 15% reduction in tire tread life. Check the vehicle’s doorpost sticker for minimum tire inflation pressure.

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  1. Be Energy Conscious

Similar to turning off the lights in unoccupied rooms at home, you should practice energy conservation habits. This helps you to conserve fuel.

  1. Use Air Conditioning Sparingly

It is advisable that air conditioner is used only when needed. The air conditioner puts extra load on the engine, forcing more fuel to be used. An air conditioner is one of the biggest drains on engine power and fuel economy. It can reduce gas consumption by 5 to 20 percent, depending on the type of vehicle and the way it is driven. Don’t use it as a fan to simply circulate air.

Also, parking in the shade increases fuel economy since not as much fuel will evaporate when the car is out of the sun and air conditioning won’t be needed to work as hard to cool down the interior.

  1. Anticipate Traffic Flow

Anticipate traffic conditions and accelerate and decelerate smoothly — it’s safer, uses less fuel, and reduces brake wear.

In stop-and-go commuter traffic, look two or more vehicles ahead as you keep an eye on the driver in front of you. This enables you to accelerate and decelerate more gradually.

By anticipating a traffic light change, an upcoming stop sign, or the need to slow down for a curve, you can avoid or reduce brake use and save gasoline in the process.

  1. Avoid Uphill Speed Increases
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When climbing a hill, the engine is already working hard to overcome gravity. Pushing it harder by stepping on the gas is simply a waste of fuel.

  1. Use Cruise Control During Highway Driving

Unnecessary changes in speed are wasteful. The use of cruise control helps improve fuel economy.

  1. Avoid Aggressive Driving

Time studies show that fast starts, weaving in and out of traffic, and accelerating to and from a stoplight don’t save much time and wear out components such as brakes and tires faster.

Simply limiting quick acceleration and fast braking can increase fuel economy. When accelerating, pretend you have a fresh egg underneath your right foot. A light, steady pressure helps to minimize the amount of fuel consumed and maintain a more moderate and steady speed.

By not driving aggressively, drivers can save up to 20% in fuel economy, advises the EPA.

  1. Monitor Preventive Maintenance Schedules

Proper maintenance increases a vehicle’s fuel economy. For example, unaligned wheels that fight each other waste fuel. Keep the air filter clean. A dirty filter clogs an engine’s air supply, causing a higher fuel-to-air ratio and thereby increasing gasoline consumption. Use good quality, energy-conserving (EC) oils with a viscosity grade consistent with the manual.

Credit: enaghana

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