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Making Your Dollar Stretch at the Gas Pump

The High Price of Gas America may have to come to grips that sub-$2 per gallon gas prices are a thing of the past. Because of the recent spikes in gas prices, formerly low interest products such as

 alternative fuel sources and hybrid cars are getting a lot more attention than ever. When you take into consideration that national gas prices may climb in excess of $4 per gallon this summer, many Americans may have to find new an inventive ways to save money at the gas pump. Here are 10 ways that you can save money at the pump that you may not have considered in the past.

Carpooling - Because of the sudden spike in gas prices and global movement to green technologies, some employers are actually offering incentives for employees that carpool on a regular basis.

 Use Proper Octane - Review your owner's manual for your vehicle and see what type of gas they recommend be used in your car. You'll be surprised to find out that you can actually save money at the pump by using the more expensive grade if recommended to do so by your vehicle manufacturer. The Federal Trade Commission released this report on gasoline.

Avoid Stop & Go Driving Habits - If you drive in hectic traffic everyday you might find this hard to do, but stopping your car and starting it repeatedly burns twice as much gas as just driving without the stops. It's been reported that you can improve your gas mileage by 5% by avoiding this habit.

Don't Warm Your Car Up - Here we dispel the myths of automobiles. You can drive your car slowly for about 5 minutes to reach the warm oil temperature your car wants and driving during this 5 minute time period doesn't hurt your car. Letting the car sit there idling simply wastes gas.

Get Regular Oil Changes - Get your oil changed at the recommended manufacturers interval and if your car was built in the 90's or later chances are that it's not at 3000 miles. Some cars now 5000 or even 7500 miles before needing the oil changed.

Keep Your Car Tuned Up - Did you know that a poorly tuned up engine can burn up to 50% more gas than a perfectly tuned engine. Get your car tuned up on regular 30,000 mile intervals or when recommended by your owner's manual.

Make Sure Your Tires Are Inflated and Aligned - By making sure your tires are in perfect working order, you can improve 3% on your gas mileage. Make sure they are inflated and aligned.

Don't Haul Unnecessary Items - Every 100 pounds of cargo you haul around reduces your gas mileage by 2%. So take out any unnecessary things out of your trunk or truck bed and you'll save a bunch.

Plan Trips Out - If you know you have to go to the dry cleaners, grocery store and post office, plan it so that you can do it all in one trip. Don't make unnecessary stops back home because you'll pay for it at the pump.

Stretch Your Legs - Chances are you made a resolution to lose weight this year. Well kill two birds with one stone. You should try walking or riding a bike to some of your closer destinations. If you're in a city, you can try public transportation as a way to get around and save yourself a ton.

Published by Brian C. Hopkins

Brian Hopkins is the president of and is also the former national credit manager for a major franchised restaurant chain based in the southeast. Brian loves to travel and is the proud fathe...  

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