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Save gas!

By Jullie Y. Daza

SHORT of locking up your garage with the car in it, how do we save gas as prices keep going up and the peso continues to drop?

Estimated at R3 billion a day, the cost of fuel lost in traffic is no laughing matter. Don’t laugh now, but there are ways to keep your car running an extra kilometer or two. Follow these innocent tips courtesy of a motoring expert featured on my favorite US news show, “Inside Edition.”

1. Inflate your tires properly. How hard is that? Tires are either too flat or too thin, like most people. When you gas up, what’s another three minutes to ask the gasoline boy to check your tire pressure? He might even spot a flat about to happen.

2. Throw out the junk in your trunk. Every unnecessary pound adds to the drag.

3. Slow down. True, the temptation to flash your dash as you try to fly down the highway may be too strong to resist, especially if you’ve just been through a gridlock. But listen to the expert: No need to push the pedal to the metal. Enjoy the drive, plus arrive alive.

4. Be judicious with the use of your A/C. That same advice comes with every car manual, but not many owners of new cars bother to read their handbook. Admittedly, our tropical weather is the best argument against this tip, but whenever possible, such as just before midnight, which is also when traffic becomes more bearable, see how your engine responds with a rejuvenated spring or kick as soon as you switch off the A/C.

5. A stupid thing to do to save on fuel is “driving around looking for cheap gas.” Need I say more? At least this time you heard it from the expert.

With the way gasoline prices are burning a hole in our pockets, will fewer people be using their cars (including those who feel alluded to in tip no. 5) for nonessential purposes?

We may fume over fuel, but the people who would Let Them Fry, Roast and Burn should stop telling us that if we follow the rules and cooperate with MMDA, LTO, LTFRB, and i-ACT, we would immediately see an improvement in traffic.

Look who’s talking! Right at their gate and on both sides of East Ave., long lines of public utility vehicles are parked because LTFRB has run out of impounding areas. Last Thursday, traffic was tied up all the way to Cubao for hours by two rows – two! – of parked colorum vehicles awaiting disposal. While motorists stewed and cursed, the thing to do was to Let Them Fry, Roast and Burn. Yes: LTFRB.