When I 16 years old, I had a car waiting in the driveway for me to pass my driver’s license test. My dad bought me one of the safest cars on the road at that time which was a Saab 900. My soccer teammates would fondly call my car “The Tank”…simply because it was.
In order for me to enjoy the privilege of driving by myself, I had to learn a few things and pass a few tests in which my dad would determine my grade. My dad had always stressed the importance of being safe and the weight of the responsibility one bears when behind the wheel. Well, when I was young and stupid I didn’t quite fully understand that responsibility and felt as if Dad was being all serious for something that wasn’t that serious at all.
Of course, driving is a very serious matter. You just don’t take your life in your own hands every time you get behind the wheel, you are responsible for all who are riding with you and all those people you might encounter on the road. So, in order to drive the car that my parents had gifted me with I had to learn the basics before I could tool around town.
- I had to learn how to change a tire.
- I had to learn how to check the oil.
- I had to learn how to check the coolant and windshield washer fluid.
- I had to learn how to gas up my own tank.
- I had to learn how to drive manual.
Ok, driving a stick shift wasn’t the easiest thing on the planet, but that’s how I learned. My father said that a girl needed to know how to drive anything so that at any time…if she needed to…she could get herself out of a sticky situation. You can bet, that when it’s time to teach my kids how to drive, they will need to know all of these things and more because Nino and I take driving and the responsibility of driving very seriously.
Truth: I don’t drive for myself very much since I moved here.
BUT…that doesn’t mean that I have forgotten all of the helpful hints and tips that have been passed on to me from my husband now that we are married for over 16 years. In fact, since Nino and I used to own a speed shop (many years ago when we first got engaged to be married) I have learned a lot more about cars and how to maintain them, and of course how to drive safely.
This is why when I was contacted to team up with another mom blogger for the Shell Driving Challenge I was totally up for the learning that would take place and the fun that would be had with another like minded mom. (Plus, since Sarah is a fashion blogger, I look to her for posts on things like “Where to find Boyfriend Jeans.”)
The Shell Fuel Save Good Choice Driving Challenge started in Fort at one of my favorite Thai restaurants, Mango Tree. We were invited to come a bit early to eat a hearty breakfast which was sponsored by Slappy Cakes, get to know the other driving challengers and prepare for the long haul that we would be taking in our Ford Ecosport. I researched a little about the car and was excited to get behind the wheel because I knew it would be an easy car to drive.
Seven teams were to compete for the title of the Driving Challenge winner. Two teams were from the media. Two teams consisted of mom bloggers. Two teams were professionals who really drove for a living like taxi and FX drivers. And the last team was made up of Shell Celebrity Endorser, Bianca Gonzalez and one of her twitter followers Rio Umali.
It was nice to get to know the other personalities who get behind the wheel all in the name of learning and good fun. In fact, I really enjoyed getting to know Lito Cinco who is a sports columnist from one of the leading local newspapers. We talked about team building in competitive sports and everything under the sun from parenting, special needs, and the value and wisdom of experience.
My driving partner Sarah Tirona and I had met once before for another event, and I was excited for the time we would have together in the car getting to know each other. When Sarah and I got into the car and started talking strategy, (YES, we are both quite competitive.) I realized that we were the perfect match to go on this road trip together because we were both willing to do what it takes to win. Sarah had researched on her own, and found some ways to save fuel while we were driving, while I had gotten some tips and tricks from my husband before embarking on our driving adventure. We shared our pointers and together we agreed that we would do our best because we both were “in it to win it.”
Sarah had decided she wanted to drive the first leg going to our destination in Batangas, which left me of course driving back to Fort for the second leg, later in the day. We were given tasks and tests along the way to Cintai Corito’s Garden that would foster new understandings on how to save fuel and drive more efficiently…in essence we were taught to make GOOD driving choices while on the road. At each pit stop, Sarah and I, of course did our best, in hopes that we would take home the title of Champion later on that evening.
Lunch was followed by a short talk on how Shell Fuel Save extends the life of your engine. While I had developed an understanding of the engine of a car and how Nino and I could make cars faster by changing the exhaust manifold, the intake and of course adding an aftermarket turbo charger or factoring nitrous oxide into the mix, I had very little understanding how the type of fuel you put in the car can help it run cleaner and or even more efficiently.
Before we sat down for lunch we were able to explore the beautiful garden and installations on the premises. There were plenty of photo ops for me and and my other mom blogger friends.
Enter: Shell Fuel Save Scientist Mae Ascan
Mae taught explained to us how Shell Fuel Save has detergents that help keep the engine clean, and how this type of fuel can not only extend the life of your car, but it can help it run more efficiently. She explained all the work and the study that goes into developing such a superior type of gasoline, and the benefits to using this gasoline in your car.
She also taught us how to compute fuel efficiency. One can simply divide the total distance traveled by the number of liters of fuel that is consumed on said trip to find out how many kilometers per liter you have used.
There are other things you can do to help run your car efficiently and save on gas, too.
- Always make sure that your are running the correct psi on your tires. You can find the correct pounds per square inch on the inside of the door of your car on the driver’s side.
- Eliminate any excess weight in the trunk of your car. If you don’t need it for the trip that you are embarking on, then store it at home.
- When driving, if possible shift to a higher gear and keep your RPM’s below 1800.
- Make sure your gas tank cap is tightly screwed on! (I never thought of this one, but it can account for evaporation!)
- Use Shell Fuel Save Gas when possible because it keeps the engine cleaner and runs more efficiently.
- Run your aircon at a comfortable temperature. Keeping it on high makes the engine work harder. Engine working harder = more fuel consumption
- Regularly service your car. Check and change the oil based on the kilometers driven, maintain fluids, and have regular tune ups.
- Maintain a steady speed, (if on the highway 80 km/hr is good) of course we know that when we are in traffic-y situations, we consume more gas because of the stops and starts.
- Don’t let your car idle. If your car will be idling for more than 10 seconds, it’s better to just shut it off all together.
Truth: I was a bit nervous. Not because I was nervous about driving…I just wanted to do my best to win for my teammate!
Of course there were two more stops on the back to Fort from our lovely lunch in Batangas and truth be told I was pretty disappointed after the first stop because I thought I made a terrible mistake when we had to finish one of our challenges. Essentially, I got two of our four questions WRONG in our pit stop. IN FACT, I was so sure that I was right, I even began trying to make my point as to why my answers should be accepted as correct. (Of course to no avail.)
At the last pit stop (which was the Shell station on C5) I even OVER shot the entrance thereby using MORE of our precious fuel which would be measured! Even if Sarah and I were both disheartened at my mistakes we of course wanted to see how much fuel was consumed by my driving skills. We were even more shocked when we saw the best fuel consumption of 4.013 liters drop down to 2.032 liters.
HUWAT? I was already shocked at the 4 liters…then to drop down to 2 liters? AND on top of that Bianca and her team mate RAN THE AIRCON the entire time. Here my partner and I were sweating profusely looking like messy children on the playground, doing Bikram yoga in the car, and essentially losing weight because we sweat so much. We over shot the gas station. PLUS I got two of our four questions wrong at our earlier pit stop.
The most weighted category was on the fuel consumption from Batangas back to Fort.
When Mae began clicking and fueling our car….I COULD NOT BELIEVE MY EYES. I thought there was no way we could have beaten Bianca and her driving partner.
BUT LOW AND BEHOLD….
I know Sarah and I could have been more gracious once we saw our consumption at the gas tank…But gosh darn…we were so happy, high fiving, jumping around, and celebrating in hopes that our consumption would bring home a victory for us…
AND IT DID.
What an incredible learning experience.
Thank you Shell, for asking Sarah and I to take the Shell Fuel Save Good Choice Driving Challenge, and for awarding us the title of CHAMPIONS. It not only felt really good to win, but it was equally satisfying to meet new people who took the challenge with us, and to learn more about how Shell Fuel Save is a GOOD Choice when filling up the tank.
ULTIMATE GIRL POWER WITH SHELL FUEL SAVE GOOD CHOICE DRIVING CHALLENGE