As Washington Gas Prices Continue to Soar, Here Are Some Tips for Conserving Fuel


In the wake of Russia's invasion of Ukraine, gas prices continue to soar nationwide.

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

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

On Tuesday, the average price of unleaded gas in Washington hit $4.546, setting a new state record.

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

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 have to cut down on fuel use and trips and make the most of each drop, AAA has some time-tested fuel-saving tips:

Ownership, maintenance and repairs

• When buying a car, look for models that offer the best fuel economy in their class. Most drivers should not require optional larger and/or more-powerful engines, AAA said.

• Maintain your car according to the manufacturer's recommendations. Regular service 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 drive

• Slow down and drive the speed limit. As speeds increase above 50 mph, fuel economy drops off due to aerodynamic drag.

• Avoid "jackrabbit" starts and hard acceleration. These actions greatly increase fuel consumption.

• Avoid extended idling to warm up the engine, even in winter. If your car will be stopped for more than 60 seconds, shut off the engine to save fuel.

• When driving in town, adjust your speed to "time" the traffic lights. Doing so reduces repeated braking and acceleration that consume additional fuel.

• When approaching a red light or stop sign, take your foot off the gas early. Allow your car to slow down until it is time to brake.

• Accelerate smoothly with light to moderate throttle. Doing so reduces engine rpm, saving fuel.

• Using cruise control helps maintain a constant speed and save fuel. However, because of safety concerns, 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 "lugging" the engine. You can also save fuel by skip-shifting (for example, going directly from first gear to third) when practical.


Other ways to avoid wasting gas

• Minimize use of air conditioning. Even at highway speeds, open windows have less effect on fuel economy than using air conditioning.

• Plan ahead to accomplish multiple errands in one trip, and whenever possible travel outside high-traffic times of day.

• If you own more than one car, use the most fuel-efficient model that meets the needs of any given journey.