How Manitobans can save fuel as gas prices rise
As gas prices in Manitoba approach record highs, many people are left wondering how they can make their tank of gas last longer.
Tim Scott, president of CAA Manitoba, said there are several different ways drivers can improve their gas mileage, starting with their car’s battery.
“If you have a bad battery, the alternator draws more power from the engine, which creates more fuel to go through it,” he said.
“So get your battery checked, especially going into our Manitoba winters.”
Scott noted that drivers should also try to reduce acceleration and hard braking.
“The more you accelerate off the start or a red light that causes more power to use up fuel,” he said.
“So those are the types of things that you can do.”
Scott explained that speed is a big killer when it comes to fuel economy, and has a significant effect on gas use.
“It really becomes something that you have to be conscious about, you have to maintain your speed limits, maybe avoid the traffic jams at 4 and 5 o’clock or early in the morning if you have flexible hours,” he said.
PLAN YOUR TRIPS
Scott suggested that people plan their driving trips, so that they go to places where they can get a lot of shopping or errands done in one area.
He said people should also try to keep their cars in as good condition as possible.
“Everything from getting your oil changed, to your tire inflation, just making sure that your engine is working at its finest,” he said.
“Those are things you should do prior to our winters, as well as just regularly, especially in the summer when you’re travelling a lot.”
COMMAND START AND IDLING
For those whose cars have command start, they might want to try to avoid it to save some gas.
“In today’s modern cars, you don’t need to do that,” Scott said.
“They don’t need the same warmups that say 30-40 years ago the vehicles needed, but that is something of our own personal comfort, but that is a big way for you to save fuel.”
Scott noted that the engines of modern cars only need a few seconds to warm up, so people don't need to sit in their car and wait.
“In a new car today, to get a warm engine it only takes about 10 seconds worth of fuel to restart and to get going,” he said.
“It’s not something like in the old days when you had to literally let it idle for two or three or four minutes to have it have that effect.”
The CAA website offers a checklist for anyone looking for more information on how to get the best fuel economy from your car.
- With files from CTV’s Michael Hutchinson.