How To Save Fuel As Prices Rise In South Dakota
Fuel prices in South Dakota are rising at an unprecedented rate. Over the last week, prices were going up 10 cents a day in some cases. Lately, I have been filling up my tank when the needle hits three-quarters of a tank. It doesn't save a ton of money, but it's a small psychological win.
Many stations in the Sioux Falls area on Friday (3/11) were hovering near $4 per gallon for regular and even higher for premium. Diesel seems to be headed for $5 per gallon.
So how can you save some money on your next fill-up? AAA has some suggestions that could work whether you drive a full-size pickup or a small fuel sipper:
- Keep your vehicle in top mechanical condition. A little money spent on routine maintenance like a clean air filter will help your engine run at peak efficiency. Ensuring your tires inflated to the manufacturer's recommended level prevents drag on the drivetrain.
- Plan your trip before you leave. Use the GPS map built into your phone to plot the best route to save time and mileage. Combine your daily errands into one bigger trip. Avoid driving during peak times with 'stop and go' traffic.
- AAA says fuel economy peaks around 50 mph on most vehicles then drops sharply as speeds increase. A reduction in highways speeds can increase fuel economy by as much as 14%.
- Don't let your engine idle. An idling engine can consume as much as a half tank per hour depending on the vehicle. Give your engine a few seconds for the oil to circulate then drive away. AAA suggests shutting down your engine if you will be stopped for more than a minute.
- Only use premium gas in vehicles that require it. AAA says that paying extra for premium fuel for a car that will run fine on a regular is a waste of money and provides no added benefit to the car's performance.