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The high price of gasoline doesn't
have to bust your budget. The Federal Trade Commission
(FTC) and the American Automobile Association (AAA)
offer these tips to help fuel savings at the pump:
Choose the right octane gas for your car. Check
the owner's manual to find out what octane your engine
needs. Octane ratings measure gasoline's ability to
resist engine knock. The higher the octane, the higher
the price: Premium (highest octane) gas sells for
an average of 17 cents more per gallon than regular
gas. Only about 6 percent of cars sold in the U.S.
need premium gas, the AAA says. Still, premium gas
accounts for about 10 percent of all gas sold. Resist
the urge to buy higher octane gas for "premium"
Avoid topping off your gas tank. In warm weather,
fuel expansion can cause an overflow.
Keep your tires inflated to the proper level.
Properly inflated tires provide less road-resistance
and can improve fuel efficiency. Check your owner's
manual for appropriate inflation levels. This information
also is usually available on the jamb of the driver's-side
Keep up with engine maintenance. Make sure that
you change the spark plugs and filters according to
the manufacturer's recommendations.
Avoid packing items on top of the car. A loaded
roof rack or carrier creates wind resistance and can
decrease fuel economy by 5 percent. It's better to
place items inside the car or trunk.
Lighten your load. An extra 100 pounds in the
trunk reduces a typical car's fuel economy by 1 to
Stay within posted speed limits. Driving at high
speeds, especially for long distances, uses more gasoline.
Use cruise control; it helps maintain a constant
speed and, in most cases, helps reduce fuel use.
Avoid "jack-rabbit" starts and stops.
Use overdrive gears when on the highway. Overdrive
decreases the car's engine speed, reducing fuel consumption
and engine wear.
Use air vents to circulate the air instead of air
The FTC works for the consumer to prevent fraudulent, deceptive
and unfair business practices in the marketplace and to provide information
to help consumers spot, stop, and avoid them. To file a
complaint or to get free
information on consumer issues, visit www.ftc.gov
or call toll-free, 1-877-FTC-HELP (1-877-382-4357); TTY: 1-866-653-4261. The
FTC enters Internet, telemarketing, identity theft, and other fraud-related
Consumer Sentinel, a secure, online database available to hundreds of civil
and criminal law enforcement agencies in the U.S. and abroad.