Gas Savings Tips for the Summer

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Gas prices are expected to rise in the next several months, which could impact your plans for a road trip this summer and even hit your wallet if you just prefer to drive.

The cost of a gallon of gasoline could rise as high as $3 later this year, says oil industry analyst Tom Kloza.

Currently at about $2.86, a gallon of gas already costs about 81 cents more than a year ago, according to the Department of Energy.

Earlier this year, the nationwide average retail price of a gallon of regular gasoline was about $1.62, Kloza notes.

If you’re planning to drive anyway, the Web site BillShrink outlines some myths about gas savings via The Consumerist that you should bear in mind before you embark on your trip.

• Gas thinners and gas-saving gadgets don’t really help your gas mileage.

• Gas isn’t cheaper mid-week.

• Traveling farther for the cheapest gas doesn’t burn more than you’ll save.

• Using your air conditioner doesn’t mean you’ll use more gas than if you open your windows.

There are several ways to save on gas if you still plan to drive, however.

• Filling your tires with nitrogen gas, which has bigger molecules than oxygen, can help you maintain the right tire pressure, and the keeping the right tire pressure can keep it at peak fuel efficiency, according to Billshrink. You can find a place to fill your tires with nitrogen by entering your zip code at getnitrogen.org.

•Avoid accelerating or stopping too abruptly, advises Billshrink. It could lower your gas mileage, especially when you’re on the highway. Using cruise control is key. Since you’re driving at a constant speed, you’ll use less gas.

•If your car has gearing that lets you shift into overdrive, use it when you’re driving at high speeds because it can help you use less gasoline. And if your car has a manual transmission, remember that a lower shift speed means better fuel economy, according to the Environmental Protection Agency.

•Avoid speeding and stuffing your trunk and back seat with more than you need, or you could be wasting gas money, Billshrink notes.

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