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Checking tire pressure, carpooling among ways to conserve fuel amidst high gas prices

With those prices not expected to come down soon, there are things people can do before leaving their homes to help conserve fuel.
With those prices not expected to come down soon, there are things people can do before leaving their home to help conserve fuel.
Published: Mar. 9, 2022 at 7:27 AM EST
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CHARLOTTE, N.C. (WBTV) - Gas prices are rising by the hour across the Carolinas and many are experiencing some sticker shock.

With those prices not expected to come down soon, there are things people can do before leaving their homes to help conserve fuel.

Related: Q&A: Forecasters say gasoline prices likely to remain high

Those include checking the tire pressure and maintaining vehicle maintenance like oil changes.

Also, the heavier the car is, the more weighed down it is and the worse the gas mileage will be. So, make sure things like sporting equipment or mulch for spring gardening are unloaded promptly.

Drivers may also want to consider carpooling.

Officials with AAA added that now is the time to start cutting down on extra trips.

“Consolidate those errands that you do every day into one trip; that will help you there. But for the most part gas prices, higher gas prices are here to stay for a while,” AAA spokesperson Tiffany Wright said.

Finally, the less that motorists are filling up, the less demand there is, which could help to cause those gas prices to drop.

With everyone talking about gas prices and how much it hurts to pay right now, the question becomes how did the prices get to this point and what part do we play in bringing them back down?

The lingering COVID-19 pandemic and the Russian invasion of Ukraine has impacted the price of crude oil which currently sits at $130 a barrel.

Several factors play into it and AAA officials gave a breakdown.

The big one everyone is talking about is the Russian invasion of Ukraine, but that’s only part of it. The lingering COVID-19 pandemic and the conflict have impacted the price of crude oil which currently sits at $130 a barrel, the highest since 2008.

It’s also about to be more expensive to refine the oil. In accordance with the Clean Air Act, refiners are required to switch to summer blend formulas around May 1 each year, according to AAA. These blends usually contain ethanol and are more expensive to make which drives up prices.

Gas taxes also factor in. Also, with Tuesday’s ban on Russian oil imports, which account for about 3% percent of U.S. supply, it’s more restricted than ever.

“They’re adapting and saying, ‘Hey, we’re going to raise prices because we just don’t know what it’s going to look like,’” Wright said. “With the sanctions put on Russia, they’re not able to export products now so that’s tightening what’s an already tight market.”

Another problem is supply and demand. Prices are going up and people are still buying. That’s not expected to stop with spring and summer travel starting soon.

According to AAA, as long as people are filling up gas prices will continue to steadily climb.

Check WBTV’s gas tracker map for a list of the cheapest gas in your area.

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