HONOLULU (KHON2) — For some in Hawaii, the task of driving to work can feel like driving through quicksand, at least financially.
The state’s gas prices have hovered averaging about $5 per gallon for over a month, but there are some small changes you can make to your driving habits that can end up saving a lot more than you might think.
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Sunday’s average price of unleaded checked in at $5.23 for the second straight day, which is the same as a week ago and just a cent less than the all-time recorded high of $5.24 set on April 9.
“The good news is the statewide average had no change from yesterday,” AAA Hawaii Spokesperson Dough Shupe said. “The national average has moved a little bit lower, but still we’ve got a while to go likely to get those prices that we’re used to. The cost of crude oil makes up about 50% of the price that we pay at the pump.”
While crude oil has dropped from March highs when the Russian invasion of Ukraine spiked prices to about $123 a barrel, Hawaii’s situation is different than most others in the United States. Here in the islands, about 30% of our imported oil came from Russia before the federal ban was implemented. That compares to about 3% on the continent.
The difference means shopping around is very important to save money.
“You really can find good savings out there if you look for them. We don’t encourage people driving around aimlessly looking for the cheapest gas prices, but using apps like the AAA app and just being mindful of which stations are routinely selling for less will really help with your fuel savings,” Shupe said.
To be able to do that, don’t let your “E” light come on.
“Try to keep at least a quarter to a half a tank full of gasoline. That way you’re not forced to go to the most expensive gas station because your car is on empty,” Shupe said.
Among other things, AAA said to keep tires inflated to the right pressure (which you can most likely find on your door jamb), replace worn spark plugs and dirty air filters and remove unnecessary heavy items from your vehicle.
Also, Shupe said driving fast wastes gas.
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“Avoid those jackrabbit starts when the light turns green, and don’t speed,” said Shupe. “Most vehicles will peak out at fuel economy about 50 miles per hour then it starts to go down after that, so reducing freeway speeds by five to 10 miles per hour can increase your fuel economy by up to 14%.”