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Tips to dull the pain at the pump

Although there seems to be no cure for current gas prices, the South Carolina Department of Consumer Affairs suggest ways that may dull the pain at the pump a bit. Since economists say they don’t know how high gas prices will go, here are tips that may help you get the most of each gallon.

  • Combine trips. Run as many errands as possible in one trip and carpool when possible.
  • Use overdrive gears and cruise control when appropriate. They improve fuel economy when highway driving.
  • Slow down! You can cut your gas usage by driving the speed limit on interstates.
  • Empty your trunk. An extra 100 pounds in the trunk can reduce a typical car’s fuel economy by up to two percent.
  • Maintain your vehicle. Keep your engine tuned and tires inflated and rotated.
  • Try to accelerate and brake gradually whenever possible. “Jackrabbit” starts and stops can decrease efficiency up to five percent.
  • Avoid long idles. Turn off your engine if you are waiting in your vehicle for a long time.
  • Use the octane level you need. Your owner’s manual recommends the most effective octane level for your car.

The US Energy Department also has a website to let you find the gas station in your area with the lowest fuel prices.

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