Do you feel like you are paying to much at the pump? Gases prices have peaked to more than $4 on average nationwide. According to californiagasprices.com, prices are rising and will soon be at a two-year high. Make sure you are doing all you can to save at the pump…. Below are some tips that can help:
Comparison shop: Before you leave your home look at sites such as GasBuddy.com or GasPriceWatch.com. Internet sites allow you to enter your ZIP code to see what local stations are charging. If you’re on the road and don’t have a web-enabled phone, steer clear of affluent areas, where customers are generally less price sensitive and station prices higher. Also avoid stations directly adjacent to major freeways, you’ll get a better deal a few blocks away.
Fill up at a warehouse club: Discount warehouse clubs such as Costco or Sam’s Club have gas stations across the country, and their prices are typically lower than independent operators. (Just factor in the cost of your annual membership when analyzing the savings.)
Choose regular: Buy the lowest (and cheapest) octane of gasoline. As long as the engine runs quietly — no knocking or pinging — regular unleaded should be fine. Just double-check your car’s owners manual for the manufacturer’s fuel recommendation.
Don’t top it off: You’ll likely pay for fuel that spills or dribbles back into the station’s tanks.
Take it easy: Accelerate smoothly, decelerate and brake gently. According to the U.S. Department of Energy, driving aggressively can lower gas mileage by up to 33 percent on the highway and 5 percent around town. Use cruise control on the highway, and don’t exceed the speed limit. The Energy Department suggests that each 5 miles per hour you drive over 60 mph is equivalent to paying an additional 20 cents per gallon for gas.
Avoid excessive idling: In one test, drivers drove a 10-mile route, stopping 10 times for two minutes each, and then repeated the route without stopping. Driving straight through saved up to 19 percent on gasoline. If you expect to be idling for more than a minute, shut off the engine.
Pay cash or get cash-back: Some stations offer a discount for paying in cash. Consider using a credit card that offers cash back on fuel purchases, or a card that gives you reward points.
Keep your ride in tune: Schedule regular engine tune-ups, make sure your tires are inflated to the recommended pressure, and clean out the trunk. Several studies show that an extra 100 pounds in your vehicle could reduce your miles per gallon by up to 2 percent.