As WA gas prices continue to soar, here are some fuel-saving tips | North West

Following Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, gas prices continue to soar across the country.

The national average price for a gallon of gasoline hit a record high of $4.173 on Tuesday, according to AAA.

The national average is a staggering 55 cents higher than a week ago, 72 cents higher than a month ago and $1.40 higher than a year ago.

On Tuesday, the average price of unleaded gasoline in Washington hit $4,546, setting a new state record.

Some gas stations in Capitol Hill and West Seattle announced prices as high as $5 a gallon on Monday.

To see the sky-high rates for yourself, AAA has a daily price watch here.

If you want to find and compare prices in your city, you can download the gasbuddy app.

And for those of us who are going to need to cut back on fuel and travel and get the most out of every drop, AAA has some proven fuel-saving tips:

Ownership, maintenance and repairs

* When buying a car, look for models that offer best-in-class fuel economy. Most riders shouldn’t need the larger and/or more powerful optional motors, AAA said.

* Maintain your car according to the manufacturer’s recommendations. Regular maintenance will help ensure optimum fuel economy and longevity.

* If the “check engine” light comes on, take your car to a repair shop as soon as possible.

* Keep tires properly inflated.

The daily commute

* Slow down and drive the speed limit. As speed increases above 50 mph, fuel economy decreases due to aerodynamic drag.

* Avoid “jackrabbit” starts and hard accelerations. These actions significantly increase fuel consumption.

* Avoid prolonged idling to warm up the engine, even in winter. If your car is stopped for more than 60 seconds, turn off the engine to save fuel.

* When driving around town, adjust your speed to “time” traffic lights. This reduces repeated braking and acceleration which consumes more fuel.

* When approaching a red light or stop sign, release the accelerator early. Let your car slow down until it’s time to brake.

* Accelerate smoothly with light to moderate throttle. This reduces engine speed, which saves fuel.

* Using cruise control maintains a constant speed and saves fuel. However, for safety reasons, you should never use cruise control on slippery roads, AAA said.

* If your car has a manual transmission, upshift as soon as you can without “dragging” the engine. You can also save fuel by skipping gears (for example, going straight from first to third) when possible.

Other Ways to Avoid Wasting Gas

* Minimize the use of air conditioning. Even at highway speeds, having the windows open has less of an effect on fuel economy than using the air conditioning.

* Plan ahead to complete multiple errands in a single trip and, whenever possible, travel outside of peak traffic hours of the day.

* If you own more than one car, use the most fuel-efficient model that meets the needs of a given trip.

Seattle Times reporter Amanda Zhou contributed to this report.

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