Saving with 6abc: Conserving gas

August 27, 2008 5:18:12 AM PDT
Rising fuel prices have caused major difficulties for some local businesses. The situation is also forcing many consumers to find ways to cope. You need to look before you pump.

The posted price you see may apply only to CASH purchases. If you pay with a credit card, you might pay as much as five cents more per gallon.

Pete Cannon of South Philadelphia says, "I think a lot of people don't notice until maybe it's too late."

The price differential is an effort by gas stations to recoup the fees they have to pay Visa and Mastercard.

"As long as gas stations post that there's a difference in the cash and credit price - they can do that," says Cathy Rossi from AAA.

Here's something simple - be selective about where you pump your gas. Right off Rt. 476 a station listed its gas is $4.04. Less than a quarter mile down the road, the same brand of gas is 23-cents cheaper.

You will usually find higher prices at gas stations right off the Expressway or in high volume, high traffic areas where there's little competition.

Here are some things that will NOT save you money on gas.

Myth number one - Turning off your air conditioner. The rule of thumb is if you're going slow - windows down. If you're going fast - windows up and AC on. That's because driving at higher speeds with your windows down greatly increases aerodynamic drag.

Myth number two - Idling is more fuel-efficient than shutting your engine off and back on again. Idling typically will waste more gas. If you're going to keep your engine running for more than a minute - it's better to restart it.

Myth number three - Using premium or high-octane fuel will help your car use less gas. The rule of thumb is if your vehicle says to use premium, you must use premium. If it doesn't say to use premium either on the gas tank or in your pamphlet, you do not need to use premium and why waste the money right now?

Don't expect relief at the pump anytime soon. Experts say as long as the price of crude oil stays high, gas prices will too.


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