SIOUX FALLS, S.D. (KELO) — It’s spring break week for many schools across KELOLAND and after two years of the pandemic, many families are choosing to travel over the extended weekend. But now with new record-high gas prices, many families are looking for ways to cut back on their fuel usage.
“A few days ago we reached the national historic high for gas prices at the national level we hit $4.33 per gallon,” AAA South Dakota spokesperson Shawn Steward said.
It’s not the news you want to hear as you prepare to head out on a family road trip this weekend.
“Once people make a commitment, ‘hey we want to travel,’ they generally stick with it,” Steward said.
But at roughly $4 a gallon in KELOLAND, the steep price tag for travel has some families looking for ways to save.
“There’s a lot of things drivers can do to get better gas mileage and save a little bit at the pump,” Steward said.
“There are two simple ones we always tell our customers about: tires or air pressure in tires and air filters,” T&A Auto Repair owner Mark Compson said.
Fuel economy has become a popular topic at T&A auto repair in Sioux Falls.
“We are hearing a lot of complaints from our customers about high gas prices,” Compson said.
But he says some simple maintenance checks like replacing your air filter can make a big difference.
“This is something definitely easy, it’s going to help your engine breathe better, more efficiently,” Compson said. “And it’s a super cheap fix, generally under 50 bucks.”
Tires are another major factor in fuel economy, making sure all of your tires have the proper air pressure before you hit the road can make a big difference.
“Under Inflated tires can create more drag,” Steward said.
Heavy cargo can also drag down a long drive.
“Hauling cargo on the roof, if you have a big stow and go up there on long trips can definitely affect fuel economy,” Compson said.
And even the smallest vehicles can still end up consuming more gas depending on how you drive.
“Aggressive driving also will affect fuel economy, everybody is in a hurry and I’m guilty of that as well but getting there fast comes at a cost,” Compson aid. “Having that cruise control set is going to do better than being on the gas and constantly passing people.”
If you’re traveling out of town, AAA also suggests downloading an app that can help you shop around for the best gas prices wherever you’re traveling. Even saving a few cents a gallon can add up to some big savings on long road trips.